Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley confirmed today that the team has picked up the option on the fifth year of the contract for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
The move is a relative formality for any first-round draft choice from the 2011 season who has not been a bust. Dareus, the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, made the Pro Bowl last season, his third in the NFL.
The Bills have stated they are interested in keeping Dareus for the long term. The option guarantees Dareus a salary equal to that of the average of the 10 highest-paid defensive tackles in the league. It's presumed the Bills will make a strong push to lock him up to a contract well before the end of the 2015 season.
Earlier this week Carolina picked up the option on quarterback Cam Newton, the first overall pick of the 2011 draft.