In the time it takes to go from “Well, the Broncos and Elvis Dumervil made a really smart move” to “Boy, that's freakin' dumb,” the news that Dumervil accepted a pay cut to remain on the Denver team for 2013 is now moot.
Because, according to The Denver Post's Mike Klis, the Broncos didn't receive a signed contract from Dumervil until minutes after the deadline.
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Via Klis, this was the timeline.
On Thursday, team executive vice president John Elway said Dumervil's $12 million salary for 2012 was “out of whack.” The two sides continued to negotiate. But by Friday afternoon, the Broncos began a plan B meeting to discuss life after Dumervil.
About 35 minutes before the 4 p.m. ET deadline in which the Broncos would either have to release Dumervil or pay him his original salary, contract negotiator Mike Sullivan told Elway and others that Dumervil had agreed to take a pay cut to $8 million for the 2013 season.
But the team didn't receive Dumervil's faxed signature until six minutes and one second after the deadline. Once Denver didn't receive the contract by 3:59 p.m., the Broncos had to release him or guarantee him the $12 million.
And, clearly, the latter wasn't going to happen.
All of this raises fascinating (and possibly conspiratorial) questions:
1) Why in the heck are teams and agents still using fax machines? Shoot somebody an email or take a picture and DM the team on Twitter. Why a fax machine?
2) Did the team cut Dumervil by fax? If so, why was the Broncos' fax machine so much faster than Dumervil's?
3) Was this a ploy by Dumervil's people to keep his original salary? Maybe they hoped Denver wouldn't notice the signature came late and that the team would still have to pay him $12 million. Probably not, but it's fun to speculate, right?
So, what happens now? Can't the team and Dumervil just come back together and agree to a completely new deal that restores his $8 million salary? It might not be that easy.
Dumervil's release gives #Broncos huge dead money hit. Limits ability to bring him back with a "new'' deal.— Jeff Legwold(@Jeff_Legwold) March 15, 2013
According to spotrac.com, Dumervil's dead-money hit to the salary cap is now nearly $5 million. That money remains whether Dumervil is on the team or not. Theoretically, the team could give Dumervil a new deal and put most of the money into a signing bonus, which the Broncos could then spread across the length of the deal for cap purposes.
But another $8 million contract for this year just doesn't seem likely. It appears Dumervil just lost a ton of money.
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