Predictable end for Dumervil in Denver

March, 24, 2013
3/24/13
7:17
PM ET

It’s been a long, difficult nine days for both Elvis Dumervil and the Denver Broncos.

A fourth-round pick in 2006 who produced 63.5 sacks for Denver, Dumervil agreed to terms with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

It leaves Denver with a big need for a complementary pass-rusher behind star Von Miller. The team is talking to both Dwight Freeney and John Abraham. Both have already visited and I expect Denver to sign one of them soon. The Denver Post is reporting Freeney is the team’s top choice.

Dumervil is better and younger than the 33-year-old Freeney and 34-year-old Abraham. But I got the sense in the past couple of days that this was the desired path for both sides as the reality of the prolonged saga sunk in.

In the end, Dumervil gets $8.5 million from the Ravens this year. It was $500,000 more than he would have gotten from Denver had Dumervil's agent not missed the March 15 deadline on a new three-year deal. Denver originally owed Dumervil $12 million but it wanted him to take a pay reduction or be cut. The snafu caused the release and it also resulted in a lot of bad blood.

In the end, Dumervil was upset he was released. When he was able to get $8.5 million from Baltimore, he felt it was worth moving on. Denver clearly wanted Dumervil back, but not at that price. The word around the building in recent days was Denver was worried about overpaying Dumervil and was worried about having a potentially disgruntled player in the locker room.

Denver will no doubt miss Dumervil's production, but it feels like it can fill the gap with a veteran like Freeney or Abraham or through the draft.

This was a messy, unnecessary saga for Denver, which has had an otherwise strong offseason after signing Wes Welker, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Terrance Knighton and Louis Vasquez.

There is plenty of blame to spread around. Denver shouldn't have let Dumervil get so close to the deadline without a deal. Dumervil shouldn't have waited so long and he shouldn't have waffled. Marty Magid, Dumervil's agent, ultimately dropped the ball when he let the deadline pass. Dumervil fired him the day after the fiasco.

All these reasons are why the split was likely and, ultimately, for the best. Dumervil will go to a team that badly needs him and he will be paid well. He will feel wanted and that’s important. Denver can justify it by saying it can save some money and it can still get pass-rushing help for the upcoming season.

This was far from perfect, but now it’s time for everyone to move on and go on their separate paths.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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