An offseason of losses gave way to a big Baltimore Ravens gain Sunday as the team announced it has agreed in principle on a five-year deal with former Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
Dumervil, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who had 631 / 2 sacks and 16 forced fumbles in six seasons with the Broncos, will be at the Ravens’ facility on Tuesday to take a physical and if all goes well, to sign a contract.
“I think this move is awesome,” Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “It shows we’re still in the business of winning and we have the best [general manager] in the world [in Ozzie Newsome].”
Dumervil was out to dinner celebrating with his family when he was reached Sunday night, but he said, “I’m happy, I’m good.”
Dumervil’s five-year deal is for a maximum of $35 million according to multiple reports. It includes $12 million guaranteed and $8.5 million for the 2013 season. However, all but $1 million of that will be paid out in a signing bonus, meaning Dumervil’s cap hit for the coming season will be $2.5 million. That leaves the reigning Super Bowl champions with about $5 million of salary cap space to address their other needs, which include a left tackle, middle linebacker and safety.
But as it stands, the addition of Dumervil is a huge coup for the Ravens, who beat out the Broncos for arguably the top pass rusher remaining on the free agent market. Dumervil will be paired with Suggs in the Ravens’ 3-4 defense, creating one of the most dangerous pass-rushing tandems in the NFL. Dumervil has averaged 121 / 2 sacks over the past three seasons.
“He is a phenomenal pass rusher and I have not had a chance to play alongside another dominant pass rusher,” Suggs said.
The agreement reverses the Ravens’ disappointing offseason trend of key roster losses. Since winning Super Bowl XLVII in February, the Ravens have lost five defensive starters, along with pass-rushing specialist Paul Kruger, who led the team in sacks last year.
They had identified adding a pass rusher as one of the offseason priorities and Dumervil was the Ravens’ top choice. However, if he had chosen to return to Denver, the Ravens would have moved on to free agent linebacker James Harrison, a former Pittsburgh Steeler. Harrison was due in Baltimore on Sunday night when the Ravens agreed to a deal with Dumervil.
Denver has reportedly turned its attention to free agents Dwight Freeney and John Abraham.
“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,” said John Elway, the Broncos’ executive vice president of football operations.
Dumervil hit free agency only because of a highly scrutinized fax machine mishap between his former agent, Marty Magid, and the Broncos. Denver and Dumervil had agreed to a $4 million reduction on his $12 million salary for 2013, but the revised paperwork did not arrive at the NFL offices in New York in time to beat a 2 p.m. March 15 deadline.
That prompted the Broncos to terminate Dumervil’s contract.
— Baltimore Sun