JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Midseason trades can be jarring for a locker room.
The deals are particularly difficult for those who are involved in the trades.
New Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is dealing with the fallout of Friday's shocking blockbuster trade between Jacksonville and his old squad in Buffalo.
"I still haven’t gotten over it, yet," Dareus said during his introductory press conference Monday. "I’m still in shock. I’m shocked for the trade. I’m shocked at this defense, this team. I’m still just taking it all on. It’s just been three days, man."
The Bills acquired a conditional sixth-round pick in exchange for the 6-foot-3, 331-pound lineman.
The third overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft was coming off a strong game in Week 7. While his role had diminished significantly under first-year head coach Sean McDermott, the 27-year-old and several of his former Bills teammates were surprised by the deal.
The Bills were 4-2 prior to the trade, so it was a surprising move to deal away a former All-Pro during a promising playoff push.
Buffalo didn't need Dareus in Week 8, as the Bills blew out the Oakland Raiders at home. Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams told Buffalo reporters that the Dareus deal was beneficial to all involved.
Dareus seemingly echoed the sentiment Monday. He is happy to be part of a talented Jaguars defensive line.
"Of course," Dareus said. "It’s hard to miss what these guys have been doing, the way their defense has been playing, the way they’ve been running the ball, the weapons they have. It’s kind of hard to miss what’s going on with these guys."
Linebacker Telvin Smith, who signed a four-year extension last week, was excited about the move to add Dareus. He believes Dareus will make the defensive line rotation even better.
"That is definitely an upgrade for our defense," Smith said. "It definitely adds depth to our defense. Helping Abry [Jones] out. He was doing a great job in there, but with a guy like Marcell to come in behind him and play with him, that is going to be a crazy rotation. Definitely looking forward to adding another head to this monster."
Dareus is likely to make his Jacksonville debut with the Jaguars on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Field.
Having previously played for Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone in Buffalo, Dareus knows what to expect from the work that lies ahead.
"We had pretty decent seasons [in Buffalo] under [Marrone], and these guys are rolling right now under him," Dareus said. "I understand what he’s looking for, and I’m going to do the best I possibly can to give him exactly what he’s looking for."
Marrone's prior experience with the player has him feeling confident about the new arrival.
During his weekly Monday press conference, Marrone told reporters that he is optimistic about the Dareus addition.
"I think it’s an opportunity for us to try and get better," Marrone said.
"I think it’s someone that plays, can play both three technique and the nose, which he’s done before. He’s a player that when I was with him, was very successful, very good football player. Gives us a chance. We’ve struggled at times against the run and I think he’s going to help our defense that way. I think it was a simple thing. I got wind of it late and they said, ‘would you be interested?’ I had no issue with that."
Due quite a bit of money over the next few years, Dareus knows he will need to earn his paychecks moving forward. He believes the Jaguars will set him up to succeed.
"They are not making it hard," Dareus said about his acclimation to the new team. "They are going to give me everything I possibly need to make things a smooth transition, so I’m just happy, taking it all in with these guys."