Broncos want to cut Elvis Dumervil salary; if not, Denver may cut him
POSTED: 03/06/2013 01:16:46 PM MST
UPDATED: 03/06/2013 03:12:20 PM MSTBy Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (Steve Nehf, The Denver Post)
The Broncos have asked defensive end Elvis Dumervil to take a pay cut, according to two NFL sources.
If Dumervil doesn't agree to a reduction by March 17, when his $12 million salary for the 2013 season would become automatically guaranteed, the team might trade or release the defensive end.
And if the Broncos can't work a pay reduction with Dumervil, a league source said the team would be interested in pursuing former Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Dwight Freeney, a longtime teammate of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The Colts have already announced they would allow Freeney to enter free agency when the market opens Tuesday.
Freeney, 33, is no longer considered the pass rusher that Dumervil is at 29. But the thinking would be the Broncos might be better off getting Freeney at, say, $5 million than Dumervil at $12 million, and using the $7 million difference on players that could fill needs elsewhere on the roster.
Dumervil's agent Marty Magid would not comment when reached by phone Wednesday.
Dumervil, 29, has been one of the league's top pass rushers since he was selected by the Broncos in the fourth round of their 2006 draft.
When the Broncos switched to a 3-4 defensive alignment in 2009, Dumervil was shifted to a pass-rushing outside linebacker position where he recorded a league-most 17 sacks.
The Broncos rewarded Dumervil with a six-year, $61.5 million contract extension. About two weeks after signing his new deal, though, Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle in training camp that forced him to miss the entire 2010 season.
Dumervil was paid $3.168 million that season, then collected $14 million in 2011 and another $14 million in 2012 when he registered 9.5 and 11 sacks, respectively.
Dumervil's sack total tied for 14th in 2012 and he tied for third with six forced fumbles. Still, ProFootballFocus.com, a statistical and ratings company, listed
Dumervil is due his $12 million salary for the 2013 season March 17. (Denver Post file)
Dumervil as the Broncos' most overvalued player. The statistical group also rated linebacker Von Miller, Dumervil's pass-rushing partner on the other side of the line, as the Broncos' most undervalued player.
The overriding issue with value ratings is salary. It's not that the Broncos no longer believe Dumervil is a good player. They do. It's just that after paying him the superstar money of $28 million the past two seasons, the team doesn't want to write $12 million worth of checks in 2013.
To be clear, the Broncos are not asking to restructure Dumervil's contract, according to the league sources. Restructures are for salary cap purposes and usually mean no change in cash value to the player. The Broncos are seeking a pay cut from Dumervil.
While there are other Broncos whose relatively hefty salaries may be addressed before the season, there is a sense of urgency to Dumervil's renegotiation because his $12 million salary becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year. The new league year opens for business on March 12, with the expectation the Broncos will be active in free agency.
The team also needs money to reach a long-term contract extension with left tackle Ryan Clady, who received a $9.83 million franchise tag last week.
It's not known how much the Broncos want to cut Dumervil's salary. He is not expected to be receptive to a significant slash considering the franchise tag on defensive ends this year was $11.175 million — only $825,000 less than what Dumervil is scheduled to make this season.
If the Broncos and Dumervil cannot come to terms, then a pass rusher likely would be added to the team's position of needs this offseason.
Mike Klis: 303-954-1055, email@example.com
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