A Salary Proposal to Bring Elvis Dumervil Back to Denver


I think at this point everyone is pretty aware of the situation that occurred between the Denver Broncos and DE Elvis Dumervil, but lets recap anyway. The Broncos wanted Dumervil, slated to earn $12 million in cash and carry a $13.623 million cap charge, to take a paycut or be released. The two sides eventually agreed to a figure of $8 million in cash salary with a stipulation that Dumervil have the contract to the Broncos by a certain time due to avoid language in his prior contract from kicking in that could cause his $12 million dollar salary to become fully guaranteed on Saturday. Basically Denver wanted the deal complete before the NFL day ended at 4PM EST.

Due to a broken fax machine and an apparent lack of technology on Dumervil’s end the deal never made it to the Broncos who wanted to cover their financial backside and subsequently released Dumervil. About 30 minutes later the new contract made its way to Denver which has made the Broncos irate and Dumervil I’m sure upset.  While there are probably hurt feelings on both sides as they try to blame the other side publically they need a way to resolve the situation to which I want to offer two suggestions for thought.

Before getting to deals I think its important to point out that the $8 million Dumervil was going to earn from Denver was going to be his best offer. The market crashed this year, specifically on the defensive end, and one of the reasons why Dumervil agreed to this paycut in the first place is because it was the most money he and his agent felt he could likely earn. So to think that another team will swoop in and may him more money to steal him from Denver is probably not realistic. It could happen but the odds would be against it in my opinion.

There are two components to Dumervil’s deal that we need to look at- cash flow and salary cap flow- as both are of importance to the Broncos. Under the terms of the restructured deal Dumervil was going to earn $8 million in cash in 2013 and carry a cap charge of $9.623 million. His cash takehome in 2014 was slated to be $10 million with a cap charge of $11.623 million. Also important that season to Denver is his dead money charge. His dead money in 2014 was set to be $3.246 million in the event they wanted to walk away next year, a likely occurrence due to their desire to cut his salary in 2013.

Because Denver released Dumervil they immediately face a cap charge of $4.869 million from the acceleration of his $2.538 million dollar signing bonus received in 2010 and $6 million dollar salary advance, that was treated as a signing bonus for cap purposes, in 2011. The Broncos can not avoid that cap charge. So for those suggesting just paying him $8 million it does not work because of the salary cap implications. An $8 million dollar salary would lead to cap allocations of $12.869 million for Dumervil, a number Denver clearly was looking to avoid with the paycut. So we need  a method to make Denver whole with regard to their cap obligations while also keeping Dumervil whole in regard to his promised pay.

The first pay structure I would suggest is to offer Dumervil a salary of $4,754,000 in 2013, and raises in each of the next two seasons of $1,623,000 with a 2014 and 2015 fully guaranteed salary of $1,623,000 with no offsets. Under this scenario Dumervil is guaranteed his $8 million dollars while the effect on the Broncos cap and cash flow is zero compared to the original agreed to restructure. Here is how it would work (I am including acceleration as prorated money just for the sake of clarity):



Under this deal the cap charges match for both sides and the potential cash will match. When Dumervil is released in 2014 the dead money obligation for the Broncos is the same so it’s a net neutral position for them. We have essentially brought our contracts right back to where they were at the start. The one negative on the contract is that it would take Dumervil more time to earn his money since he would not get his $8 million immediately as he would in the original deal. He would likely need to wait until he is released. Since it seems his side was the side with more blame that would seem reasonable.

If not then we need a structure where Dumervil can maximize his cash earnings in 2013. Under this deal we are going to pay Dumervil a base salary of $3,131,000 and pay him a signing bonus of $4,869,000 that is prorated over the next 3 seasons. This brings Dumervil’s earnings next year to $8,000,000 while putting the rest of the contract back in its normal state in terms of cap charges and dead money. The only thing Denver would want to consider here is the timing of the signing bonus payments in real terms. While the dead money total if he was cut this year would be high the odds of Dumervil being cut after agreeing to the terms of the original restructure were basically zero anyway.


My guess is the second option is more reasonable to both sides, but either way both are an easy option to let both sides save face and bring the team back to where they want it to be and the player back to the salary he wanted to earn. Its not the epic disaster people are making it out to be and there are very simple solutions that can keep both sides happy with a little thought.


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  • Parker Primrose

    Give this to Elway. Please.

  • CJ

    my guess is both sides know this sort of solutions exists (elvis’ agent can’t really be that stupid, right?) so it comes down to if elvis REALLY does want to be a Bronco and if Elway really does want to have him here.

    My guess? Option 2 or something real similar gets done Saturday- Monday at the latest.

    • apparently his agent was that stupid dummervil fired him.

  • Good proposals. I expect 2 year/ 14-15 m deal with 5 m SB and 2-2,5 m BS in 2013.

  • Drew

    This scenario assumes that no other team would be willing to pay Dumervil the $26 million contract that you proposed, because if they were, Dumervil would collect the $4 million from the Broncos while also collecting money from his new team. Therefore, it would benefit Dumervil–in the amount of about $4 million–to sign the same contract with a new team. I think the Broncos are at a disadvantage from the start in contract negotiations with Dumervil.

    • Dumervil doesnt collect any money from the Broncos. He already was paid the money that they are being charged against the cap. For someone to sign him away they have to present a better financial package not an equivalent one. Doesnt mean someone wont do it but the market is so soft its hard to believe that someone will.

  • Anders

    Great work Jason. Seems a few franchises out there should hire you (hello Cowboys).

  • SpringsGal

    Great breakdown and explanation! I was trying to say the same thing on the Denver Post website. But not as eloquently as you did. My point is the $4.9 million dead money hit on the salary cap is not really a stopping point if the Broncos are really interested in signing Elvis back. If they want, they can honor the spirit of the original contract and still make the numbers work creatively (just as you pointed out). Having said that, I think the Broncos no longer want to pay Elway the money they offered last friday. I think Elway realized that the free agent market is at best going to offer Dumervil a $7 million average (and maybe not even that). So the Broncos and Elway made a lower offer in this new contract that was offered.

  • SpringsGal

    Continuing on my earlier post, Dumervil and Marty Magid should have jumped on the offer the Broncos offered on Friday. Marty Magid did a tremendous disservice to Dumervil. He should have informed and advised Dumervil that he is not going to receive a better offer and to take it. Instead Dumervil fooled around, refused the offer first and then the fax fiasco. Now after seeing that Dumervil is not getting much buzz in the free agent market, Elway lowered his new offer to Doom (to probably $6 to $7 million average a year). Doom is probably in a state of shock. He was going to make $12 million. He reluctantly at the last minute agreed to $8 million. Now he has to swallow his ego and accept a further paycut. So he is balking. And primarily it is his ego that has taken a beating in this. He cannot think rationally right now and maybe accept that the Broncos new offer is the best he is going to be able to do. So the big question. Is there another team that is going to offer Dumervil $8 million to play this year (on a 1 year contract) or a $8 million average to play the next 3 years (3 year $24 or $25 million). We shall see.