Elvis Dumervil: Return to Denver Broncos Is Free-Agent Pass-Rusher's Best Option

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIMarch 21, 2013

Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

No NFL player has had a stranger experience during free agency than Elvis Dumervil, but the pass-rusher’s best option going forward is still the Denver Broncos.

The 29-year-old defensive end agreed to take a pay cut in 2013, but the paperwork to restructure his contract did not get to the Broncos in time for them to file with the NFL, and the team was forced to release him, as ESPN reported. 

Since this fiasco, Dumervil has fired his agent, and The Denver Post’s Mike Klis notes that both the Tennessee Titans and the Miami Dolphins are interested in Dumervil, while the Baltimore Ravens have upped the ante and offered the pass-rusher a contract.

But the Broncos have also made him an offer, and Klis notes that sources with knowledge of the contract say that Dumervil would make “slightly more money” if he were to stay in Denver.

Klis also points out that the Broncos have met with Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, but vice president John Elway has clearly stated that Dumervil is his first choice to play opposite Von Miller.

Unfortunately for Dumervil, his former agent’s inability to fax paperwork on time will cost him. Even the salary he agreed to after taking a pay cut is likely off the table with any of his suitors at this point.

If Dumervil finds a team that is willing to pay him substantially more than the Broncos, then he absolutely should leave. He is rapidly approaching 30, and one injury could limit him from signing another big contract during his career.

But as of now, the two offers he has on the table are rumored to be very similar. 

Although he may not be pleased with either contract, Denver is a better option than Baltimore. The Ravens may be coming off of a Super Bowl victory, but the 2013 roster is going to be missing several key players. 

Ray Lewis retired, Ed Reed is on his way to Houston, Dannell Ellerbe left for the Dolphins and Anquan Boldin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

Denver, however, has been busy reloading and getting the roster ready for a Super Bowl run. The team already had a squad that ranked in the top five in both total offense and total defense last season, and the 2013 Broncos will be better. 

Wes Welker and Louis Vasquez will be joining Peyton Manning on offense, while Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Stewart Bradley and Terrance Knighton will add depth on defense.

In addition, Dumervil will not find a better pass-rushing partner than Miller if he leaves for another team.

If Dumervil is looking for the best chance to win a championship, Denver offers him a better shot at a title at this point than Baltimore. The only motivation to leave the Broncos before the 2013 season will be money. 

This is a perfectly legitimate source of motivation, but as of now, there does not appear to be a team offering enough of an incentive for him to walk away from Denver, and his best option is to stay put.