Sunday, March 24, 2013

Denver's Elvis Dumervil Signs With Ravens

After the Denver Broncos released defensive end Elvis Dumervil following the FaxGate drama, the free agent pass rusher took a two weekens before making a decision on where he would play in 2013.

Dumervil has "agreed in principle" to a multi-year contract from the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, according to the Denver Post's Mike Klis.

Broncos de facto G.M. John Elway said the team offered a contract to Dumervil last week (a contract which was worth more than Baltimore's offer), but Dumervil ultimately decided it was time for a change of scenery.

“As we have from the start of this process, we worked diligently over the last week to find a way for Elvis Dumervil to remain a Denver Bronco," Elway said in a statement on Sunday.  "Although we made multiple contract offers to Elvis after being forced to release him, we were unable to reach an agreement and are now moving forward without him."

After being drafted by the Broncos in the fourth round (126th overall) in 2006, Dumervil has recorded 63.5 sacks and 16 forced fumbles, leading the NFL with 17 sacks in 2009.  Paired up with star outside linebacker Von Miller in 2011, Dumervil has recorded 20.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

“Elvis was a team captain and a talented player who made a great impact during his seven seasons in Denver. I appreciate all of his effort on the field and the work he did in the community," continued Elway. “I wish Elvis all the best as he continues his NFL career.”

The five-year contract Dumervil signed with Baltimore is worth up to $35 million, with $8.5 million coming in 2013, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  The deal will become official on Tuesday, pending Dumervil passing a physical.

Dumervil's departure makes defensive end a new position of need for the Broncos.  The top two candidates to replace Elvis are free agents Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, who both visited Dove Valley last week.
Playing across from Miller, either Abraham or Freeney should easily find success in Denver's 4-3 defense this fall.  Another candidate to earn increased playing time in Dumervil's absence is fifth-year defensive end Robert Ayers, who has recorded 5 sacks as a rotational rusher over the past two seasons.

Dumervil will return to Denver this fall; the Broncos are scheduled to host the Ravens in 2013.