Elvis Dumervil contract: Why the hard deadline matters

Ezra Shaw

Dumervil and his agent were 25 minutes on the 3 p.m. ET deadline set by the Broncos, but they couldn't be a second late of the 4 p.m. hard deadline that would've guaranteed his old contract.

Had Elvis Dumervil been able to send a fax to the Denver Broncos just eight minutes earlier he wouldn't have become a free agent on Friday afternoon and the Broncos wouldn't have been forced to release a three-time Pro Bowler and eat nearly $5 million worth of dead money on the salary cap.

With a 4 p.m. ET hard deadline to beat, the Broncos were forced to act to avoid paying Dumervil a $12 million contract fully guaranteed for the 2013 season, and every minute mattered. Deadlines spur action, but in the case of Dumervil's agent, Marty Magid, the action came too late.

It was the Broncos that set a deadline for Dumervil's camp at first, as they made their final contract offer at 1 p.m. and gave Magid and Dumervil two hours to decide whether to accept the deal or not, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Two hours later at 3 p.m. ET, the Broncos had not heard back and were forced to write up termination papers.

It wasn't until 25 minutes after the not-so-hard 3 p.m. deadline set by the Broncos that Dumervil accepted the terms that were offered and agreed to re-construct his contract with the team. But then the team had just 34 minutes to send and receive a signed contract via fax before the NFL's definitely-hard deadline for Dumervil's contract.

While the Broncos were able to deal with the 25-minutes-late agreement from Dumervil, they weren't able to wait until after the 4 p.m. deadline that would have automatically guaranteed Dumervil's salary for the 2013 season, contract re-structuring or not.

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