Elway calls Elvis Dumervil's $12 million salary 'out of whack'

Elvis Dumervil is scheduled to make $12 million in 2013, and even though Dumervil still racks up sacks by the dozen, it’s not hard to understand why the Broncos want their defensive end to take a paycut.

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As it stands, Dumervil’s salary cap hit for this season would be $13.623 million, and with Dumervil unable to reach his high-water 17-sack mark from 2009 in the three years since, that kind of price is simply untenable for Denver. Or, you could go with John Elway’s verbiage and call it out of whack.

"It's not all about dollars. But when it's way out of whack? Then it's so out of whack that you've got to say: That [salary] can't be it. Especially when you look at the market and what's out there now," the Broncos executive vice president of football operations told the Denver Post. "It's so far out of whack. Hopefully, he realizes that."

Making matters worse for Dumervil is that if Denver releases him into free agency -- something that CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora expects -- he’ll enter a soft market for pass rushers that netted a two-year, $15 million deal for Cliff Avril and a one-year, $5 million deal for Michael Bennett (linebacker Paul Kruger signed a deal worth about $8 million a year and Connor Barwin got one for $6 million oper year).

That kind of market could be why Dumervil reportedly is willing to accept a paycut or a contract restructure. But so far, he and the Broncos haven’t come to an agreement.

“These are the deals that wrench your gut," Elway said. "As an ex-player, I hate to see that. I hated to see that happen to a teammate. And I hate having to do it, in the position I'm in. But I've got to do what's best for this football team.”

In order to stay in Denver, Dumervil, who signed a six-year, $61.5 million deal in 2010, likely will have to take a major paycut -- perhaps to somewhere in the $8 million range.

"It isn't just about the money. We also know what Elvis brings to the team and what his leadership means," Elway said. "But, at a certain point, you have to make a decision, one way or another. Is it worth doing X and losing Y?"

For Dumervil and the Broncos, I imagine we’ll find out soon enough.

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