All-Pro pass rushing linebacker Elvis Dumervil signed his first and third round restricted free agent tender Monday. Unless a long term contract extension can be negotiated, he will play for $3.168 million in 2010.
Had Dumervil refused to sign his tender, the Broncos had the option of reducing his upcoming salary to 110 percent of his 2009 pay or approximately $630,000.
Dumervil, who was drafted out of Louisville in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft, led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2009, and has recorded 43 sacks in the last four years while playing for the comparative bargain of a combined $2.015 million.
While at Louisville, Dumervil had one of the best seasons ever for a defensive end in NCAA history. He broke the NCAA single game sack record against the University of Kentucky with six and broke the record for most forced fumbles.
Dumervil eclipsed Dwight Freeney's sack total and set the Big East record. He won several awards for the 2005 season, including the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Ted Hendricks Award, Big East player of the year, and First-team All American.
Dumervil’s goal is to be among the league’s five highest paid pass rushers, and he is looking for a multi-year contract worth at least $60 million, with $40 million guaranteed.
The Broncos General Manager, Brian Xanders, and Dumervil’s agent continue to negotiate which is a good sign for both parties.
If an extension cannot be reached, then Dumervil will play out the season and test out the market as an unrestricted free agent.
The Broncos hope that the combination of Dumervil signing the tender and both sides still working on a potential extension have smoothed over any hard feelings created by a letter the Broncos sent threatening to cut Dumervil's salary if he didn't sign the tender by Monday.
The letter was perceived to be in poor taste by Dumervil's managment team and was called among other things, "a cut block" in the media. Dumervil has remained silent about the letter and seems ready to get back to football and let the suits handle the paper.
Dumervil, in turn, attended, but didn’t participate in the team portion of the Broncos’ mandatory minicamp.
Dumervil is signed, sealed, and planning on attending training camp with all of his Bronco teammates. We can assume that he will put forward nothing but his best effort as he looks forward toward another monster year that will help secure him the payday he so richly deserves.