Sometimes I feel like the deliverer of darkness in these early days of March, a time of constant posts regarding the impending unemployment of Player X, and Player Z being released because his team has determined that he’s too damn old. And you know, I’m cool with that.
So continuing a theme that’s persisted throughout much of this day as we’ve discussed the latest on Darrelle Revis, Wes Welker, and Nnamdi Asomugha, we now bring you another potentially major addition to the overflowing pool of aging yet effective pass rushers. I present to you, Elvis Dumervil.
Let’s begin here with the most obvious of statements: Dumervil is very good at tackling quarterbacks. He had 11 sacks this past season while continuing to form a rather scary tandem on the Broncos’ defensive line with Von Miller, and he also forced six fumbles. Taking that further, over his past three healthy seasons Dumervil has 37.5 sacks for an average of 12.5 per year, and that includes a career single-season high of 17 in 2009.
See, he’s very good. The problem is that he’s not young (he’s 29). Combine that with his status as a one-dimensional player, and suddenly his $12 million salary in 2013 sounds a little disgusting. That’s why we’ve come to this…
Broncos like pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, but not at $12M/year. They are seeking a lower deal, and situation could end up with his release…
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 6, 2013
After franchising Ryan Clady, the Broncos are about $5 million under the salary cap, a number that will grow if they reach a long-term deal with their left tackle sometime later this offseason. That moderate room is a concern, but again, the far greater worry is simple value for Dumervil’s services, as it seems Denver has quickly become leery of tying up significant cash in a defensive end who’s a liability against the run.
The latter scenario La Canfora speaks of — a release — seems unlikely, but not impossible if Dumervil is stubborn, as is his right. If he does hit the open market Dumervil will be the most coveted pass rusher, as although he’s aging a bit, he’s still much younger than Dwight Freeney, and much more effective than Osi Umenyiora. Given their cap room and the recent release of John Abraham, Atlanta would be a possible landing spot.
Oh also, pretty much every free agent is going to Atlanta.