It's been a rough week for free-agent defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
It didn't look like it was going to be. Dumervil had capitulated to a pay cut that would net him $8 million in salary from the Denver Broncos. The papers were signed, sealed and delivered.
Except that that delivery came too late, and by the time it did, the Broncos had already released the 29-year-old.
By now, we all know the comedy of errors that led to Dumervil's contract being faxed to the Broncos too late, leaving the Broncos no choice but to release him before his entire $12 million salary for 2013 became guaranteed.
On Monday, Bill Williamson of ESPN reported that Dumervil's appeal to have the "verbal agreement" between him and the Broncos declared binding was denied by the NFL, leaving Dumervil a free agent in search of work.
Kind of like Dumervil was searching for a Kinko's on Friday.
This whole mess leaves Dumervil's career at a crossroads, and if he's smart, Elvis Dumervil will swallow his pride, take the hit to his wallet that comes with it and re-sign with the Broncos.
The Broncos', for their part, would apparently like to have Dumervil back at the right price.
According to Mike Klis of The Denver Post, the Broncos have offered Dumervil a three-year contract, with John Elway, Broncos' head of football operations, stating, "We've offered Elvis a contract. We'd like to have Elvis back."
However, Klis' tweet from Wednesday would appear to throw a bucket of cold water on a potential reunion.
Elvis Dumervil underwhelmed by Broncos' latest three-year offer, according to two sources. He's planning to visit teams in next 48 hours.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 20, 2013
Dumervil's making a mistake here.
Granted, Dumervil may feel slighted by Denver's offer. His ego may still be stinging some from Friday's debacle as well.
Get over it.
In case Elvis Dumervil hasn't been paying attention, the market for pass-rushers this season has been soft. Paul Kruger, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett all signed deals that were smaller than what the top pass-rushers were expected to get before free agency began.
Also, in case he hasn't noticed, the Broncos aren't inclined to wait for him to make up his mind....again.
Colts free-agent DE Dwight Freeney scheduled to visit Denver tonight, per @edwerderespn. Broncos also plan to host visit with John Abraham.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2013
If Dumervil drags his feet with Denver while testing the interest of teams like the Baltimore Ravens, he's apt to find his spot filled by one of those veterans by the time he decides that maybe the Mile High City is the best place for him after all.
Simply put, it's a case of the devil you know being better than the devil you don't. Dumervil has posted 37.5 sacks over the past three seasons in Denver. Linebacker Von Miller ensures he won't see a ton of double-teams. The Broncos are probably the early Super Bowl favorites in the AFC.
Other than his bruised ego, I don't see a lot not to like about that situation.
It would be a different story if there was the possibility of some big contract out there, but there just isn't. Not in this market. It isn't happening.
The terms of that three-year deal haven't been disclosed. Given the Broncos' cap situation and the $5 million in "dead money" that Dumervil's release left on the Broncos' books, it's probably back loaded, preferably not in a manner that will leave two sides in the same position next year that they were in last week.
Assuming for a moment that is the case, Dumervil should take the deal and put this whole mess behind him. If he has another good season, Denver will keep him around and he'll get paid. If not, he'll hit free agency again, and maybe the market will be stronger in 2014 than it is now.
Yes, a great deal of the blame lies with Dumervil's former agent for this fiasco.
Who hired that agent, Elvis? Pretty sure you did. So put down your pride and pick up a pen.
It's the smart thing to do.