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What the national media is saying: Dareus in the crosshairs, ESPN shows love, NY media not so much

Here's a roundup of national stories about the Bills.

1. 'Make-or-break year' for Marcell Dareus

During his appearance on the NFL Network’s GameDay Morning show Sunday, Ian Rapoport referred to Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus as “the former face of the franchise now in the crosshairs.

“I am told he is in a make-or-break year for the Buffalo Bills, needs to show this administration he is in fact all in, to stay with this team,” Rapoport said in an interview with colleague Mike Garafolo.

“He does have a tough contract to get out from under, but this is a player — a really good player — who needs to show the team a lot during this 2017 season,” Rapoport added.

After Dareus was sent home from the third preseason game for violating a team rule, The News’ Vic Carucci wrote that the guaranteed money left on the six-year, $96 million contract Dareus signed in 2015 hamstrings the Bills in any attempt to trade the highest-paid player in franchise history.

Garafolo suggested, however, that the Bills may have tried to trade Dareus earlier this month.

“You know, on the day of final cuts, I heard from several people around the league, if you play defense for the Bills, you were available via trade,” Garafolo said. “They had a lot of guys on that side of the ball they were potentially looking to move. Dareus may have been one of them.”

Garafolo walked back that statement later in the morning.

2. ESPN impressed with Bills' mental toughnes

Nobody circles the wagons after a Bills win like Chris Berman. ESPN.com writer Mike Rodak is more measured with his praise, but took note of the Bills resiliency in Sunday's win.

“Too often under former coach Rex Ryan, the Buffalo Bills folded under the pressure of close games,” Rodak wrote. “Despite playing down to the level of their opponent at times Sunday, the Bills showed improved mental toughness in first-year coach Sean McDermott’s debut.”

Rodak also looked at LeSean McCoy’s heavy workload in the opener, and whether that will be sustainable for the rest of the season.

McCoy talked to Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter after the game.

Rodak will be replacing Joe Licata as co-host of The Tim Graham Show on 1270 The Fan, which returns this Wednesday and will be streamed live on The Buffalo News' Facebook page.

3. View from the Jets' vantage point

The Bills won a “clash of expected also-rans,” according to Curtis Rush of the New York Times.

They may have appeared to be tanking, but the Bills still have two dynamic offensive players left in Tyrod Taylor and McCoy, which was enough to “run circles around the Jets on Sunday,” Daniel Popper wrote in the New York Daily News.

And “for all their faults,” the Bills still have big threats for opponents to deal with, Laura Albanese wrote for Newsday.

Alone atop the AFC East standings, but still the “lowly Bills,” in the New York Post. Jaclyn Hendricks of the Post opines that Bills fans got “even weirder” for the season opener.

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