Vic Lombardi and Jason La Canfora report that the Broncos are looking to lower the $12M salary of DE Elvis Dumervil, and that if he's unwilling, the team may release him. Here's how La Canfora puts it:
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. Broncos paying Manning $20M/year, Bailey is around $10M, and Von Miller will be getting paid huge soon enough.
Albert Breer offers similar thoughts:
Denver is indeed looking for Elvis Dumervil to take a paycut. It's not his cap number ($13.6M) but his salary ($12M) that's the problem. So with Dumervil and Denver, this likely wouldn't be a restructure. He's simply making too much money relative to his production now. Remember, Denver's cap has been managed well. They'll have room to take care of guys like Decker, Thomas and Miller in coming years
Just a month ago, we had suggested there was no way the Broncos would be heading into 2013 without their one-time single-season sack leader. But that was under the assumption that Doom's $12M salary was fully guaranteed, and as we've been reminded with the recent contracts signed by Tom Brady and Joe Flacco, no NFL contract is ever as ironclad as it's made out to be by player agents - and the Worldwide Leader's reporters - whom they also happen to represent.
As it turns out, the Louisville alum's 2013 salary is only guaranteed for injury at this point, and becomes guaranteed for skill only if he's on the roster come March 17, five days after the beginning of free agency.
According to Spotrac, cutting Doom at this juncture would leave $4.869M in dead money on the team's 2013 cap. Earlier in the week, Mike Klis reported that Denver would be moving on without D.J. Williams as well; if both players are released, they would account for a total of $6,951,500 in dead money.
Elvis's cap number for 2013 is $13.623M; in 2014 he's due a $10M salary ($11.623M cap), and in 2015 his salary drops to $8,193,335 ($9,816,335 cap).
Other candidates for a reworked contract (whether in terms of salary or cap) would figure to be Peyton Manning ($20M salary and cap), Champ Bailey ($11M salary and cap, including workout bonus), and Chris Kuper ($4.5M salary, $5,415,166 cap).
LB Joe Mays ($4M salary, $4,166,667 cap, $500K guaranteed) figures to be a cap casualty, unless he's willing to take a drastically reduced salary.
The team applied its franchise tender to LT Ryan Clady, which is worth $9.828M for 2013. Including that figure, Denver currently has $8.3M in available cap room, according to Spotrac.
Releasing Dumervil, Williams, and Mays would leave $7,784,834 in dead money, provide the team with an extra $18,087,333 in cap space, and a total of $26,434,093 with which to work.
In other words, the Broncos would have the flexibility to make the big splash we had thought they weren't capable of this offseason.
That means Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Darrelle Revis, Dwight Freeney, Charles Woodson, Ed Reed, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, Richard Seymour, and every other big name free agent you can think of would suddenly be in play.
After all of these hectic winters and springs, with the Cutler fiasco, the firing of Josh McDaniels, the hiring of John Elway, Tebowmania, and Peytonpalooza, much of Broncos Land was expecting a quieter offseason, even as Denver has returned to overdog status.
Yet, here we are again. Let the fun begin.
Updated 9:46pm ET