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.
A few puzzlers aside, veteran contracts have been underwhelming in terms of length, total value, average annual value, and guaranteed money.
The market has now been set, and for Dumervil, it's not pretty.
Paul Kruger got $40.485M over five years, including $19.95M in guarantees. It's a solid contract, but not the whopper that most expected.
Lions DE Cliff Avril, widely considered the top pass-rushing DE available (pending Elvis's inclusion), has signed with the Seahawks.
For two years. That's not a typo. Total value? $15M. Yes, fifteen-million dollars.
This, only a year after Avril was upset about being stuck in Detroit with a $10.6M franchise tender, and a year after he turned down a reported three-year, $30M offer from the Lions.
Elvis is suddenly in a tight spot.
While we don't really know how much of a haircut Denver is asking of him, it's likely becoming more apparent to the 29-year-old and his agent with each passing deal, that the gap between Denver's price and what another team might pay isn't so great, after all.
Additionally, potential suitors for Elvis are finding other pass rushers, and his market shrinks.
We've been reading from Marty Magid, his agent, that they're not budging on taking a pay cut.
Up to this point, reports have been that Denver is seeking a reduction from Dumervil's 2013 salary. But what of his 2014 ($10M) and 2015 ($8.2M) figures, which contain no guarantees? We're guessing the Broncos want to shrink those as well.
As each day goes by, and each new deal hits the wire, Elvis is getting squeezed all the more tightly, and it has to become more likely that he stays.
Careful, Elvis - you may find, like Avril did today, that the first offer may be the best one you see for a while.