In what is being blamed on a "colossal mistake," the Denver Broncos released defensive end Elvis Dumervil Friday, about 35 minutes after he accepted a cut in salary. Despite that agreement, Dumervil was shockingly released when paperwork for the adjusted contract wasn't filed by 3:59 p.m. ET Friday.
The Denver Post reported Dumervil informed the Broncos he would lower his 2013 salary to $8 million. Under the terms of his previous six-year, $61.5 million deal signed in 2010, Dumervil was set to receive a base of $12 million for this season.
Although Dumervil and the Broncos reached a verbal agreement with 35 minutes to spare before the deadline, Dumervil's agent Marty Magid failed to fax paperwork in time, according to NFL.com. The team was forced to waive Dumervil rather than get stuck paying him the full $12 million.
A Broncos source told Darlington, "We had to protect ourselves."
NFL.com reported that a fax machine was inoperable, and the Broncos' front office frantically tried to find a work around for Dumervil's agent to send the paperwork, but to no avail.
A source told NFL.com the agent made a "colossal mistake."
But Magid told USA Today Sports a different story saying the paperwork wasn't transmitted in time because the Broncos made late changes to the financial details.
Magid claims the team changed the terms of the contract the sides had been negotiating all week and didn't send him a correct copy of the final deal until after 3:30 p.m. EDT.
The key point in the new contract offer allowed the Broncos to cut Dumervil after this season without paying him, Magid said, adding Denver said they made the change because Dumervil had taken all week to accept their offer.
Broncos vice president John Elway said the team imposed a 3 p.m. ET deadline for Dumervil to accept terms of a new deal.
"At 1 p.m. MDT, we were informed by Elvis' representative that he declined our offer," Elway said in a statement late Friday afternoon. "We then prepared Elvis' termination notice to officially file his release with the NFL office."
"We were assured that the signed documents would be submitted to us before the league's waiver deadline," Elway said. But when the paperwork did not arrive, the Broncos were forced to cut Dumervil.
Elway did not rule out re-signing Dumervil but if they do, they'll have to take the cap penalty for releasing him into account as well as any new figure that would arise from a new deal.
The pass-rushing specialist made $14 million each of the past two seasons and was scheduled to receive $10 million in 2014 and $8 million in 2015.
Elway had contacted Dumervil directly the past few days trying to work out a deal that would keep Denver from losing him to another team.
"It's not all about dollars. But when it's way out of whack? Then it's so out of whack that you've got to say: That (salary) can't be it," Elway said Thursday, according to the Denver Post. "Especially when you look at the market and what's out there now. It's so far out of whack. Hopefully, he realizes that."
Dumervil had 11 sacks last season and nine-and-a-half in 2011, a drop-off from when he led the league in 2009 with 17.