Elway and Co. deserved to lose Dumervil.
Better yet, Dumervil deserves to play somewhere that will treat him better than the way Elway and the Broncos' front office did over the course of the entire fiasco.
Let's rewind to the beginning. The Broncos decided Dumervil was going to be making too much money in 2013 and asked him to restructure (per SI), which is fine. Dumervil was slated to make too much money, as $12 million for one season simply wasn't going to cut it.
Dumervil and his now former agent agreed to slash his pay to $8 million in 2013 (per Adam Schefter). As they say, then all hell broke loose as both parties flirted with the deadline.
In the end, Dumervil was released because the documents were not sent to the league office before the deadline (per Mike Klis of The Denver Post).
This didn't stop Elway and the Broncos from throwing contract offers Dumervil's way, but the organization will be questioned for years about how it handles its own and potential players.
More specifically, agents who represent players may no longer trust Elway and Co. after how they handled the Dumervil situation, as one anonymous agent told Pro Football Talk:
“I don’t trust them,” said one agent who requested anonymity because the agent will be dealing with the Broncos going forward.
While the cutthroat nature of the agent industry prompts few to ever feel compassion for a competitor, the thinking is that the Broncos steamrollered the career of Marty Magid, who already has a limited collection of client and who now will have a very hard time recruiting more of them.
As the report mentions, the fiasco cost Marty Magid, Dumervil's agent at the time, his job. The agent went on to say "I will read documents from them 10 times.” As agents should from now on when dealing with Denver.
It's easy to throw all the blame at Magid for the situation, but Elway and the front office had plenty of time to make something happen without so seriously flirting with the deadline.
It also doesn't help that Magid alleges the Broncos altered the terms of the final draft at the last second after the two sides agreed, which is what ended up causing Dumervil's release (per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports):
Magid said the Broncos changed the language regarding Dumervil's 2014 salary, withdrawing a full guarantee on the deal an hour before the deadline and that he didn't receive the actual contract until 3:42 ET. At that point, he had to scan and send it to Dumervil, who was in Florida, for him to sign and send back to the team, which already created a time crunch. The deal would have lowered Dumervil's 2013 salary from $12 million to $8 million.
It's hard to imagine this was simply a ploy by Magid to get his client to the market, considering he was fired. Elway released a statement containing his version of the events, but Dumervil's actions in free agency suggest he felt shunned by the organization.
As Marc Sessler over at NFL.com reported, Dumervil ignored generous offers from Denver because he "wanted to feel wanted" by his next NFL team. Denver essentially eliminated itself from bringing back Dumervil because of the way it handled the fiasco.
Now Dumervil is a member of the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens on a five-year deal worth up to $35 million (per Adam Schefter of ESPN), with the exact total without incentives coming in at $26 million (per Mike Florio of PFT).
The Broncos now have to scramble to sign a veteran pass-rusher such as Dwight Freeney, to make up for the loss of Dumervil. Maybe it's what Elway wanted all along, after all, it's cheaper to sign a veteran like Freeney who will put up similar production. That could also explain why the team further reduced its offer to Dumervil after he was released.
Perhaps, Elway could learn a thing or two from Ozzie Newsome, the general manager of the Ravens who just recruited Dumervil.
Newsome has been reamed by the media and fans alike all offseason for not being active early in free agency and losing a plethora of starters. Now he is being praised for being patient and landing Dumervil, and may field an even better defense than he did a season ago.
Maybe the Broncos ultimately didn't want Dumervil, but one thing's for certain—the team deserved to lose him.
Elway and the Broncos will have a hard time regaining the trust of NFL agents and potential players. It's also important to mention how his handling of this situation could impact the locker room.
In the meantime, the Broncos will be Super Bowl contenders for the next few seasons, but will be without one of its best defensive players because of a lack of efficiency and proper decision-making from the front office.
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