ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — It sounded more like a bad episode of a bad reality series than the NFL. The Denver Broncos had agreed to a new contract with Elvis Dumervil.
Then they hadn’t. The culprit — well, that all depends on whose version of events you want to believe. But a fax machine was definitely involved.
Back together for offseason workouts without the man who has accumulated 63½ sacks for the franchise over his six healthy seasons in Denver, Dumervil’s ex-teammates all agreed that they’ll miss their erstwhile pass rusher, team captain and, as linebacker Von Miller calls him, their “rock” in the locker room.
But the Dumervil debacle also provided them a refresher course on one of the most important NFL lessons: It’s a business, and not always a pretty one.
“It’s probably the least favorite part of it for me,” Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said of the business side of the league. It was, ultimately, a business decision that led the Colts to part ways with Manning in favor of Andrew Luck.
With Dumervil long gone, the Broncos are a week away from the draft and haven’t made a definitive move to replace him yet.
John Elway, who runs Denver’s front office, says he has a plan. Dwight Freeney, formerly of the Colts, is a free agent and could still join the team.
But as things stood as of Wednesday, Robert Ayers — a first-round draft pick in 2009 with 6½ sacks in four seasons — would take over Dumervil’s spot at right end. The Broncos are also expected to look at defensive ends in next week’s draft.