Elvis Dumervil is an unrestricted free agent despite the fact that he and the Denver Broncos agreed to a new contract. NFL rules and a Kinko's fax machine may deserve the bulk of the blame, but Dumervil's agent places the fault directly on the team.
A last-minute change to the contract delayed its arrival until 3:33 p.m. ET, Dumervil's agent Marty Magid said, which left his client less than a half hour to sign and fax the contract back.
Magid claims the Broncos initially had told him that, in exchange for chopping $4 million off of Dumervil's 2013 base salary, the team would add $500,000 to his 2014 base salary of $10 million while also fully guaranteeing $3.5 million of that figure.
Magid said instead, when the new deal was presented shortly after 1 p.m. EDT Friday, the language had been changed to only guarantee the $3.5 million for injury. The Broncos said they made the change because Dumervil had taken all week to accept their offer, according to Magid.
The change was made because the Broncos signed free agents and committed much more money toward them for the 2014 season than they originally did when they were negotiating Dumervil's new deal.
When the Broncos did not get the contract back before the deadline, they were forced to release the talented pass rusher to avoid owing him a guaranteed $12 million.
According to Magid, he and Dumervil only had 23 minutes to get the deal signed and get it back to the Broncos. They ended up faxing the contract back to Denver from a Kinko's in Miami.
"Twenty-three minutes to read it, scan it, fax it, get Elvis to a machine and get it through," Magid said. "We tried."
According to Garafolo, Dumervil and Magid have a confirmation that shows they sent the contract back to the Broncos front office at 3:55 p.m. EST. It took nearly nine minutes for the contract to be transmitted.
Now Dumervil is an unrestricted free agent and has become one of the top pass rushers on the open market. The Broncos took a salary cap hit of $5 million, according to Garafolo, and a cap space hit of $8 million. If they want to re-sign Dumervil now, even if it's to the deal that the two sides agreed to, they'd have to make room for him.