Seeing that the Denver Broncos are serious about winning multiple Super Bowls in the Peyton Manning era, it's surprising to see them make such a costly mistake in dealing with defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
UPDATE: Friday, March 15, at 4:30 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant
Hold everything, Broncos fans. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the restructured contract was not submitted in time, and Dumervil has been released by the team instead:
Hold on, contract not filed in time. Elvis Dumervil has been officially released— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 15, 2013
A shocking development, indeed, especially if a few minutes decided Dumervil's 2013 fate with the team.
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The decision precedes the 4 p.m. ET deadline where player salaries become guaranteed for the 2013 season. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported that the Broncos had a deal in place to reduce Dumervil's salary while keeping the key pass-rusher in the fold:
Elvis Dumervil agreed to salary reduction, smartly. Remains in Denver.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2013
According to a source close to the situation, Dumervil restructured his deal. Instead of making 12 mill, he will make 8 mill this year.— Michelle Beisner (@MichelleBeisner) March 15, 2013
My understanding is Elvis Dumervil agreed to cut his base salary from $12 million to $8 million for 2013.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 15, 2013
The news doesn't come as much of a shock if you've been following the Broncos this offseason. On Thursday, team president John Elway was quoted as saying Dumervil's contract was "out of whack" (via SI.com) and needed to be reduced from the $12 million figure.
If not resolved before the deadline, it was widely considered that Denver was ready to release Dumervil on Friday afternoon.
How many sacks will Dumervil record in 2013?
However, that's not the case, and Denver will welcome back into the fold one of its most consistent defensive performers over the past few seasons. In 2012, he recorded 11 sacks and forced six fumbles, making the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career.
The move ensures that Denver will keep its pass-rushing attack of Von Miller and Dumervil in tact for at least one more season, and also continues what has been a wild and furious start to free agency for a Super Bowl-or-bust franchise.
The news on Dumervil comes after the team struck deals with guard Louis Vasquez, linebacker Stewart Bradley and wide receiver Wes Welker, the last move of which is sure to spark up the rivalry between Manning and Tom Brady's New England Patriots even more next season (signings courtesy of SI.com).
Denver continues to be active in pursuit of upgrading both sides of the ball, and might not be done yet. On Friday, the Broncos made sure a key member of their front seven will be sticking around for 2013—and will be taking a pay cut to do so.