Remember that silly narrative about the Ravens losing everyone after their championship season? Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta have already started flipping that notion on its head, as the team has agreed to terms with free-agent pass rusher Elvis Dumervil.
The Ravens confirmed the news, which was first reported by Mike Klis of the Denver Post, and announced it was a five-year contract. It's hard to see this as anything other than a critical signing for the Ravens, although the money he's getting may change how we view the deal.
When linebacker Paul Kruger signed a five-year, $41 million deal with the Browns this offseason, it looked like Baltimore was losing a big-time pass-rush piece on their defense. The Dumervil signing immediately counters that and should actually mean the Ravens eventually upgraded their defense.
Dumervil will play outside linebacker in Baltimore's 3-4 defense after spending two years as a 4-3 end with the Broncos. The last time he played in a 3-4 was 2009, when he led the NFL with 17 sacks in 16 games (and 14 starts).
The only reason Dumervil hit the market in the first place was a complete mishandling of his contract situation in Denver. It appeared Dumervil was taking a pay cut to stay in Denver just before the deadline to either pay him $12 million or release him. But due to the modern marvels of fax machines -- still used in the NFL -- no agreement was reached and Dumervil was free to hit the market.
The Broncos are obviously sad to see him go, but at least handled his departure well, releasing a statement wishing Dumervil the best "as he continues in his NFL career."
"As we have from the start of this process, we worked diligently over the last week to find a way for Elvis Dumervil to remain a Denver Bronco. Although we made multiple contract offers to Elvis after being forced to release him, we were unable to reach an agreement and are now moving forward without him," John Elway said in a statement. "Elvis was a team captain and a talented player who made a great impact during his seven seasons in Denver. I appreciate all of his effort on the field and the work he did in the community.
"I wish Elvis all the best as he continues his NFL career.”
Dumervil will get a chance at revenge in 2013 -- the Broncos host the Ravens, and it could even end up being the 2013 kickoff game, depending on whether the Orioles will play nice or not.
But the over-arching story is this: The Ravens snagged a big-time piece to improve their defense and Dumervil, because of a clerical error, has now landed on the team that knocked the Broncos out of the playoffs.