Posted March 15, 2013

Broncos lose Elvis Dumervil thanks to baffling, fax-related gaffe

Denver Broncos, NFL Free Agency
Elvis Dumervil

Elvis Dumervil, who had 11 sacks for Denver last season, is now a free agent due to a logistical blunder. (Peter Read Miller/SI)

In a day and age when NFL teams store playbooks on iPads and everyone with internet access can watch coaches’ film, the Denver Broncos were done in Friday by a fax machine.

The Broncos had until 4 p.m. ET to submit a restructured contract for Elvis Dumervil to the league — the Denver defensive end had agreed to slash his $12 million salary down to $8 million. But that revised document did not arrive at the NFL offices until at least five minutes past the deadline, voiding the deal and releasing Dumervil into free agency.

Worse yet for the Broncos, Dumervil’s release will cost the team nearly $5 million in “dead money” — money that counts against the cap, despite a player leaving.

No matter where Dumervil winds up next, this will go down as one of the most bizarre situations in NFL free agency history. One thing we do know: Because of nearly $5 million, Dumervil-related hit already on the Broncos’ books for 2013, it’s extremely unlikely that they will be able to re-sign Dumervil now.

Dumervil instead may become one of the most coveted players on the market. His play has dipped in non-pass-rushing situations in recent years, but the 29-year-old still recorded 11.0 sacks last season and led the league with 17.0 in 2010.

The unfortunate reality for Dumervil, though, is that the market for pass-rushers has been much cooler than expected. Michael Bennett, coming off a 9.0-sack season in Tampa Bay, could wrangle together only a one-year, $5 million deal from Seattle (which also signed Cliff Avril to a surprisingly low contract at two years and $15 million).

That’s part of why Dumervil agreed to chop his salary from $12 million to $8 million in the first place — he’s very unlikely to receive even the lower figure as a free agent.

Of course, there still stands to be substantial interest in Dumervil, especially from the teams that missed out on Avril and Bennett. The short list includes Atlanta, Indianapolis, Miami and Detroit, though several other franchises could get in the mix.

As for the Broncos, Friday’s gaffe leaves them in need of another pass-rusher for the right side of their line. Robert Ayers may pick up extra snaps, as an in-house option, but Denver could turn its attention to players like Dwight Freeney or Osi Umenyiora.

Dumervil and his 63.5 career sacks almost certainly are headed elsewhere. And it might take a long while for the Broncos to fully wrap their heads around what went down Friday afternoon.

23 comments
JoeCabot
JoeCabot

Just a couple of days ago John Elway was being hailed as some type of football savant for the signing of Wes Welker, as if the guy is Jerry Rice incarnate.  Apparently the super-GM has some mistakes in him as well.

riley8
riley8

This was a convenient way of telling Dumervil to pound sand.  With available technology to get these things done if they wanted it done it would have been done.  Other than the cap hit I doubt this slows the Broncs roll towards the next SB.  JMO.

John4
John4

Am I the only person who thinks something is strange when the solution for a $12 Million per year player (or is it $8 Million?) is to release him since his return fax of a restructured contract was not completed in time?  

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

Doom was a solid player for the Broncos, but ultimately his terrible contract, skillset, and injury history made him expendable. He's missed a lot of games and always seems limited. We've tried him at LB several different times and it's not happening. He's an undersized DE (5'11" 260?) who's a liability at everything except pass rush. Watch the Patriots and Houston losses to see how opposing rush offenses target him that controlled the game's tempo...

 

We're sad to see him go, but know that he'll find a better fit.

StevedeKater
StevedeKater

Was the fax sent before the deadline or after?  Wouldn't that be a determining factor if the contract was valid or not?  Surely if both parties agreed to the deal, and if it could be proved that the fax was transmitted before the deadline, the contract should stand.  Or does that make too much sense?

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I can't help but wonder if Dumervil's agent didn't hose this intentionally. But at least it puts some fun into the free agent nonsense.

metalkiwis
metalkiwis

Wow that is crazy. So does Dummerville get the $5 million mentioned? Was that a bonus he gets o for being on the roster or something?

nfinitwordsfoto
nfinitwordsfoto

Oh boy...you know there are some very pissed off people right now.  Someone's head is gonna roll.  

DonaldMcKenzie
DonaldMcKenzie

 @John4 It likely is something that automatically kicks in when the deadline passes.  Denver didn't release him, so much as the league rules released him.

BKBouncer
BKBouncer

 @M as in Mancy 

There's only one problem with your comment. His best season came as a linebacker, so while your comment seems rational, and well thought out, you clearly can't be taken seriously, and thus your comment is one of the worst kind on the internet. Something that appears rational, reasonable and all together agreeable, but lacks in any substance. 

John4
John4

 @M as in Mancy Mancy - again, you're the voice of reason.  As usual, your comments were more insightful and intelligent than those from the article.  

PWINGS
PWINGS

 @StevedeKater The IRS even takes into account the date of the postmark on your tax return if it's mailed in. I don't know what they do regarding online returns. In any case, it's a pretty sad commentary when the IRS does things in a more reasonable manner than the NFL. Just sayin'.

PWINGS
PWINGS

 @Rickapolis If Dumervil's agent DID screw this up intentionally and Dumervil ends up with less than the $8M as the article suggests, Dumervil's going to be looking for a new agent. Or as T.O. so eloquently put it: "Yo messin' with my money!"

WarHokie
WarHokie

 @metalkiwis

 No, the $5 mil (I had heard $4 mil yesterday) is "dead money".  It goes to the league, I guess, or maybe the NFLPA, but it can't be used by the team for salaries and counts against this year's salary cap.  This is a really bad deal for both Doom and the Broncos..I understand that Doom is this agent's ONLY client.  Really, yoiu can't send a fax by 2:00 pm?  The time stamp on the fax was 2:06 per reports.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

@metalkiwis I didn't look at his contract but I assume he already received the guaranteed money. However, I pretty sure that teams are allowed to spread that money over the length of the contract. It's just a cap thing.

John4
John4

 @DonaldMcKenzie The Broncos and Dumervil's agent could not figure out how to properly process and file an agreed to contract restructuring in the needed timeframe (Dumvervil's $12 Million salary became guaranteed as of Friday afternoon) so they released him.  

Dumervil is now a free agent.  Free to sign with any team.  Where do you think he goes?

rckymtn4
rckymtn4

 @DonaldMcKenzie  @John4

 The league rules didn't release him. The Broncos released him. If they hadn't released him by 4 pm ET then Dumervil's original contract for $12 million would have been guaranteed. The speculation is Dumervil's agent was playing games delaying the fax of the revised $8 million contract to past the deadline gambling that the Broncos wouldn't cut Dumervil and thus pay him the $12 million contract. The Broncos cut him and now Dumervil must get whatever contract he can get, most likely in another city. Despite what the article says, the Broncos can easily resign Dumervil but they would have to structure something like a three-year deal with an $8 million up front signing bonus. The Broncos may not want to do that because for one they would need to deal with the agent who just burned them and two they would need to pay out the entire 2013 contract up front.

mefoster86
mefoster86

 @DonaldMcKenzie  @John4 The article isn't very clear on what happened, as is being reported just fine elsewhere.... If the Broncos didn't cut him by 2:00, they'd be stuck with him at the 12mil original contract. As such, they faxed the league the papers to cut him at 1:55, having still not received the amended contract.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @BKBouncer  rckymtn4 said it better than I could. Doom's 2009 season came under Mike Nolan as a 3-4 OLB. Which essentially means that on passing downs he was a rusher. His run D was a huge weakness that year too.

 

Better luck next time.

 

rckymtn4
rckymtn4

Ugh. How rude! Yes, Dumervil was a linebacker in his best season, but he was a linebacker in a 3-4 defense, not in the 4-3 defense they have played every year since then and his performance has declined as a result. You are a little to full of yourself.

PWINGS
PWINGS

 @John4  @M as in Mancy Nah, that makes too much sense. People like you screw everything up with this reason, intelligence and insight blather. Bah!!

AtchWedd
AtchWedd

 @WarHokie  @metalkiwis The money goes to no one.   The term dead money refers to the fact that the Broncos lose this amount from their 21013 salary cap.   It is derived from prorating his original signing bonus over several seasons.   He already received the bonus, but the Broncos spread that over several seasons.   Since the cut him, they are on the hook for the remaining amount.

 

John4
John4

 @mefoster86  If that's the case, and it appears to be, then Dumervil is just cursing everything about it.  That snafu will likely cost him even millions more than the guaranteed salary for 2013.  He was at $12 Million (for 2013) agreed to $8 Million, and is now a free agent in search of a team.  

Note that Cliff Avril (a similar player in terms of position and ability to rush the passer, only Avril is a better player) just signed for $15 Million over two years with Seattle.  No way Dumervil gets that much, so this ordeal will hurt Dumervil's bank account for years.