The Broncos, in an effort to find a replacement for released defensive end Elvis Dumervil, will host both former Falcons defensive end John Abraham and former Colts outside linebacker Dwight Freeney this week, according to Adam Schefter.
The Broncos were forced to release Dumervil when a fax of his signed contract with new terms, including a cut in pay, didn't arrive by the 4 p.m. ET. If they had not released him, the Broncos would have owed Dumervil a guaranteed $12 million. The fax arrived seven minutes late, despite the fact that Dumervil and his former agent have a receipt showing it was sent from Miami at 3:55 p.m. ET.
The Broncos finished tied for the lead in sacks with the St. Louis Rams with 52 throughout the regular season and Dumervil accounted for 11 of them and 63.5 over the last six years with the team. While Von Miller, the team's young defensive star, has been the face of the team's pass-rushing ability, Dumervil has played a major part.
Dumervil is reportedly underwhelmed with the Broncos most recent contract offer and will likely sign elsewhere for more money. If that's the case, Abraham or Freeney could fill in for the next few years.
Abraham is a 13-year veteran and will be 35 in May, but he is coming off a 10-sack season and has 122 sacks in his career with the Falcons and Jets. Freeney is just one year younger and is an 11-veteran. He battled through some injuries in 2012 in the 14 games he played in and was only able to come up with five sacks. He has 107.5 sacks in his career, though, and has been one of the best pass rushers in the league for a long time.
Abraham may be seen as the better fit as he played a defensive end in a 4-3 defense, similar to the Broncos' defense. Freeney played at outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense while with the Colts, though he did play on the line quite often.
If the Broncos are unable to re-sign Dumervil, either Freeney or Abraham would likely be the best players to replace him for a short period of time until they either draft a replacement or sign a younger defensive end.