elvis dumervil2

UPDATE (4:05 p.m. ET): Seconds after this post was originally published, the Denver Post’s Mike Klis dropped a bomb…





I’ll leave the words written below just as a sort of shrine to what could have been, but here’s the simple end to what just happened: Elvis Dumervil is a free agent.

Why? Mostly because fax machines are the devil. Carrier pigeon would have been a better method to deliver the required contract details to their desired destination. Or perhaps a blind horse.

The 1:59 MT deadline existed because that’s the moment Dumervil’s 2013 base salary became official, and thus it’s also the moment the Broncos were planning to cut him if an agreement on a reduced salary wasn’t reached. They had no intention of paying him the full $12 million, and as outlined below, they had no reason to either.

But because for whatever reason NFL teams and agents are still stuck in a far gone time when sending documents through a fax machine is deemed to be a normal practice, they missed the deadline, even though an agreement with Dumervil was reached far in advance of it. As Andrew Brandt — a former executive with the Packers — notes, it appears Dumervil’s agent didn’t get the signed contract back to Denver in time.

If Klis’ timeline is correct, then the Broncos and Dumervil’s agent had 35 minutes to correspond through faxes. That’s a little tight using such primitive technology, but still more than enough time. Or hell, I don’t really know, because I’ve used a fax machine about twice ever. Where I live it’s the year 2013, a glorious time when many teams have playbooks on iPads.

With his 20.5 sacks over the past two years and six forced fumbles, Dumervil immediately becomes the best available free agent defensive end, and as a result, the Broncos will be left grasping for Dwight Freeney, John Abraham, or Osi Umenyiora. As Brandt also notes, re-signing Dumervil right away isn’t a viable option due to the dead money involved and the cap hit Denver has now sustained after the release.

What a disaster.



The time had come for Elvis Dumervil to either relieve himself, or vacate the pot. He’s chosen the former (metaphorically, of course).

Dumervil has decided that he’ll restructure his current contract and take a paycut for the 2013 season, cutting his salary by $4 million (from $12 million to $8 million). Sure, you’re sitting there as the average dude who’s in his lonely cubicle and counting down the final minutes of another work week, thinking that you’ll gladly take Dumervil’s $8 million. But such thoughts are always bogus in reference to professional sports. And especially the NFL, a cold place where contracts aren’t guaranteed.

Here’s the real question: would you ever agree to give back 35% of what you were due to make in a year? (silence)

Such is the state of NFL finances, with Dumervil acknowledging the reality that the money he was due to make was severely high in the current market, and it was acting as an anchor on his team’s salary cap situation. He’d either have to give some back, or give it all back the hard way (getting cut) and then move to possibly a lesser team and be paid about $8 million tops anyway.

To gauge the current pass rusher market, we need only to look at the contract given to Cliff Avril earlier this week. Avril was the top defensive end available this year, and the Seahawks gave him a contract that pays $15 million over two years. That’s $15 million total, and he’s three years younger than Dumervil.

Yesterday John Elway said his defensive end’s contract is “out of whack“, and he wasn’t wrong. Now the market has moved to the second tier of veteran free agents at the position like Osi Umenyiora, Dwight Freeney, and John Abraham, none of whom will be given anything close to Dumervil’s original 2013 base salary.