The Denver Broncos had a perfect week of free agency, at least in the eyes of some. They signed the league’s best slot receiver in Wes Welker for a bargain price, a starting right cornerback in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, free agency’s second-best guard in Louis Vasquez, a big and powerful defensive lineman in Terrance Knighton, and they re-signed David Bruton and Kevin Vickerson.
That “perfect” week could all come crashing down if Elvis Dumervil doesn’t agree to take a pay cut. He’s due $12 million on Saturday, and he must make his decision by 2:00 p.m. Friday. The market calls for pass rushing defensive ends to make about $7.5-8 million per year.
Dumervil had 11 sacks, 54 tackles, and six forced fumbles last season. There were eight other defensive ends that had more sacks than Dumervil including J.J. Watt, Cameron Wake, Charles Johnson, Jared Allen, and Julius Peppers. Only Johnson had more forced fumbles (7).
If Dumervil elects to go, the Broncos will probably take a look at Peyton Manning’s former teammate, Dwight Freeney. They’d better hurry though. Freeney is visiting with the New England Patriots Friday (Freeney is from Connecticut so living in New England again might appeal to him). Likewise, if Dumervil goes, the Patriots will probably try to make a run at Dumervil (Bill Belichick needs revenge somehow).
Freeney is 33-years-old and his sack totals have gone down in the last four seasons (from 13.5 to 10.0 to 8.0 to 5.0). He didn’t thrive in Chuck Pagano’s system, nor did he have a guy like Von Miller on his side of the ball that offenses had to account for.
Keeping Dumervil would be the best case scenario for the Broncos, but if he goes then so be it. He’s not worth the $12 million he’s due even if he does end up in New England.