He hasn’t received the notoriety or media coverage of Jets CB Darrelle Revis, but OLB/DE Elvis Dumervil (the NFL sack leader last season), who signed his restricted free agent tender of nearly $3.2 million last week, also wants a long-term contract.
The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla has an interesting take here where he decries the fact that Dumervil was forced to sign a deal that was well below his market value while writing the Broncos actually did the right thing.
Kiszla makes a good point here:
This is a tricky deal for the Broncos.
The team must negotiate the fine line between what makes financial sense in roster maintenance and the costs required to maintain the faith of fans whose trust in the team has certainly been shaken.
Is Dumervil worth a multiyear contract in the neighborhood of $65 million, with more than half the money guaranteed, no matter how long his 5-foot-11, 248-pound body holds up against the strain of being an undersized playmaker in a violent game?
The brutally honest answer is: No.
Dumervil is a fearsome pass rusher, but his every-down impact is no match for NFL linebackers such as Patrick Willis or James Harrison.
So, no matter how much I like Dr. Doom, it's hard to mindlessly shout: Show him the money!
Ah, but here's the rub. Unless the Broncos sign Dumervil to a long-term contract before training camp begins, he would be foolish to show up. It then would be fair for everybody from veteran cornerback (Champ) Bailey to season-ticket holders to wonder if this franchise has commitment issues.
Dumervil has played remarkably well for someone who wasn’t drafted until the fourth round because of concerns about his height. He had nice production his first two years – even though he lined up on the right side of the line, meaning he had to face the opposing team’s left tackle – but after lagging a little in 2008 (five sacks in 16 games), a new role in Josh McDaniels’ 3-4 defense, in which he plays much more outside linebacker, has helped him become one of the most feared defenders around.
Is he worth more than $3.2 million? Probably so, especially if his career is extended because he’s not crashing into offensive linemen every single play. Will he get that contract extension? At this point, it’s hard to tell.
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