The Broncos and Elvis Dumervil's new agent, Tom Condon, recently appealed to the league office to have the defensive end's reworked three-year, $30M contract recognized. As anyone familiar with how the Ginger Hammer operates might expect, the NFL turned down the request.
But as Mike Klis suggests, honoring the verbal agreement between Denver and Dumervil would set a precedent the league would like end up regretting.
Klis says the Ravens - whose linebackers coach is Don Martindale, the former Broncos LB coach (2009) and DC (2010) - have already been discussing contract parameters with Condon for Dumervil's services.
Updated 6:29pm ET
Happy Monday, friends. I was out of pocket all weekend, watching the Mets get beat in two spring training games down in Port St. Lucie. During my baseball-focused couple days, I gave the Dumervil situation some serious thought.
The first question I’ve been pondering is whether the Broncos really specifically need Elvis Dumervil to play open-side DE. The answer I’ve been mostly coming to is no. Remember, if Dumervil hadn't accepted the pay cut, he was going to be released anyway - drama aside, the Broncos had a plan to move forward without him. They may need somebody to be a threatening pass rusher on sub package downs, but Robert Ayers is perfectly capable of playing there in base situations, and doing a good job.
I think that’s what the Broncos have been thinking, to be honest, and even if Elvis is back in 2013 (which strikes me as less and less likely all the time) I don’t think his stay would be any longer than the one season. It’s probably in his best interest to go find a team that would view him as their primary pass rusher, and invest in him as such.
A few days ago, we suggested that cutting Elvis Dumervil before the start of free agency would be the right thing to do, and the proper sendoff to a player who'd given seven years to the team.
Turns out, waiting was the best course of action.
According to Adam Schefter, Dumervil has agreed to a pay cut, and will remain with the Broncos for the 2013 season.
Elvis Dumervil landed $43.156M in guarantees in 2010. More recently, Tom Brady got $57M guaranteed, while Joe Flacco got $52M. Staggering figures, and big news, right?
Sure, except for the part about the guarantees.
Here at IAOFM, we've long taken pride in focusing on the guaranteed portions of player contracts. The advertised length and total value of deals tend to be farces, which only serve to make players seem better paid than they really are, and for their agents to prop up their own reputations.
Originally reported as a one-year deal for $5M, it turns out Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie got a two-year contract, with a voidable second year.
According to Aaron Wilson, DRC's deal is worth $10M over two seasons, with a $4.2M signing bonus, $800K salary in 2013, and voidable $5M salary for 2014. Jason La Canfora reports that the second year voids as long as Rodgers-Cromartie is on Denver's roster five days after the next Super Bowl.
Adding a voidable year, which is essentially a phantom extension of a one-year contract, is done solely for the purposes of spreading a cap hit.
Now that the excitement of free agency's opening act has ended, defensive stars (or former stars) in their mid-thirties are taking the stage.
On Friday, New England will host Colts DE Dwight Freeney, who has been discussed as a possible replacement for Elvis Dumervil in Denver. The Pats will also host Cards S Adrian Wilson and Falcons DE John Abraham.
San Francisco is reportedly having serious discussions with both Packers S Charles Woodson and Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
Baltimore remains interested in Steelers LB James Harrison.
Updated 9:30pm ET
Let's take a look at where Denver's flurry of activity appears to have left them in terms of the cap.
They've so far added Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Terrance Knighton, and Stewart Bradley.
Kevin Vickerson and David Bruton have been retained, while Ryan Clady, Tony Carter, Britton Colquitt, Mitch Unrein, Chris Clark, and Lance Ball were tendered, and count against the cap no matter whether they've signed (Clady hasn't).
To this point, D.J. Williams and Caleb Hanie were cut.
More from Jason La Canfora on the Broncos not being done: (4:00pm ET)
Denver is not done adding players even after the addition of Welker, Terrance Knighton and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the franchising of left tackle Ryan Clady.
They still want to address pass rusher and will release Elvis Dumervil if he does not take a reduced salary rather than pay him $12 million, with Connor Barwin, Dwight Freeney and Richard Seymour among the potential targets. They still could add depth in the secondary as well, according to a league source.
Due to the cap situation we'd mentioned earlier, it's not likely the Broncos could sign anyone else before the Dumervil situation is settled, or they've released another player or reworked another deal. Mike Klis's assessment of Denver's cap status would appear to agree with that sentiment. (4:00pm ET)
Updated 10:55pm ET
Champ Bailey has another new partner, and the Broncos continue to be active early in this year's free agency period. According to Adam Schefter, Denver agreed to terms with former Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one-year deal.
For the seemingly ageless Bailey, there's never a dull offseason in Denver, whether it's the revolving door of defensive coordinators, or the constant swapping of cornerbacks across the field from him. To wit, he's played in Denver under Larry Coyer, Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan, Wink Martindale, Dennis Allen, and Jack Del Rio, while he's partnered with Kelly Herndon, Darrent Williams (RIP), Dre' Bly, Andre' Goodman, Perrish Cox, Tracy Porter, Chris Harris, and now Rodgers-Cromartie.
We've been suggesting for days - quite strongly - that Elvis Dumervil had no reason to accept the pay cut being demanded by the Broncos, and it's been our expectation all along that the two sides would be parting ways.
Dumervil is set to make $12M in 2013, and that salary becomes guaranteed if he's on the Denver roster come Saturday. Our assumption has been that the Broncos were looking to halve Elvis's salary, and that he could instead get around $10M per year on the open market.
Then, the market opened.