As it turns out, Darrelle Revis might not be the only high-ticket defender who might find a new home this offseason. According to a report from the Denver Post, the Denver Broncos want defensive end Elvis Dumervil to take a pretty serious pay cut, and they may release the three-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro if he doesn't agree. Dumervil has a $12 million base salary for the 2013 season, and carries a $13.6 million cap hit this year, and the Broncos need to move that money around. According to our own Brian McIntyre, the Broncos enter this free-agency period with $14.93 million in cap space, and they certainly don't want one guy taking that up.
That said, and as much as Von Miller has been a force since he was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, Dumervil is still a pretty fierce pass-disruptor, and that's true from both sides of the line. Miller beat Dumervil in sacks, 18.5 to 11.0 in 2012, but according to Pro Football Focus, it was Dumervil who was best able to bring pressure from different spots -- he had seven sacks and 23 total pressures from the left side, and five sacks and 36 total pressures from the right side.
That said, PFF also listed Miller as the Broncos' most undervalued player, and Dumervil as the team's most overvalued, and that's less about performance and more about salary. It's a tough decision for a team that feels that it's on the verge of a Super Bowl run. Miller recently guaranteed just such a win, and when he was asked about his roster at the scouting combine, Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway talked about his sense of security about that roster.
"I feel much better standing here now than I did two years ago about where we are as a football team," Elway said. "I think that the way I look at it is that we have to continue to get better because everyone else in this league is going to get better. 13-3 is not good enough. It was nice, we won the division and had home field [advantage], but when you lose in the first round in the playoffs, you know you have to get better, whether it be better playing not only in the regular season, but we have to learn how to play in the postseason."
The Broncos may feel that compared to Miller, Dumveril is a complementary player at this point, and they might believe that they can replace him through a draft class full of talented pass-rushers. It's an interesting bluff, and one to keep an eye on, because with enough teams in need of elite pass-rushers, Dumervil might find an eager open market.
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