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Marcell Dareus sets new standard for Aaron Donald, top DTs

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The Buffalo Bills announced a lucrative new contract for star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on Thursday morning.

The deal probably didn't raise much interest in St. Louis, but for those who want to look way into the future, maybe it should. That's because Dareus set the bar even higher for defensive tackles.

According to the report from ESPN Bills reporter Mike Rodak and NFL insider Adam Schefter, Dareus' deal is a six-year extension that locks him up for the next seven years for a total of $108 million. More impressive, Dareus is set to get $60 million in guaranteed money, which is the highest guaranteed total for a non-quarterback in league history.

While Dareus' annual salary doesn't match the deal the Miami Dolphins gave to Ndamukong Suh, the guarantee comes in slightly ahead. Rodak wrote in a separate piece that the deal is fair for both sides but also indicative of the growing price for top defensive linemen.

So where do the Rams fit in all this? Well, nowhere at the moment. But in two or three years when they decide to negotiate defensive tackle Aaron Donald's second contract, it's fair to say Dareus' deal still will stand among the richest given to a defensive tackle. Dareus was the only tackle in the league to post more sacks than Donald's nine a year ago, though Donald started only 12 games.

It wouldn't surprise anyone if Donald outperformed Dareus moving forward, which could mean even further riches when the time comes. Donald is only entering his second season so this is far from a pressing issue, and he'll have to continue to perform but if he stays on his current track, it's entirely possible he will meet or exceed what Dareus got from the Bills.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we opened the day with Grantland's look at the Rams entering the season. ... The Rams are looking at changing up their practice schedule in 2015. ... The Rams are set to unveil a new-look running game with new outside zone concepts. ... The Rams named their five captains for the season.

Elsewhere:

Adam Caplan examines coaches on the hot seat entering the season.

Trent Dilfer breaks down the Nick Foles-Sam Bradford trade and what it might mean for both sides.

The NFL Live crew looks at the Rams-Seahawks opening week matchup.

At 101sports.com, Bernie Miklasz writes that the Rams will be young again in 2015.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas offers his game-by-game predictions for the Rams.