Following last week's fax fiasco, Elvis Dumervil could still return to the Denver Broncos, but the two sides may have to get creative to make a deal work.
Dumervil and the Broncos agreed to a restructured three-year contract worth $30 million, but the paperwork was not filed in time, leading to Dumervil's release. Denver has offered Dumervil a new contract, but it's likely worth less than the restructured deal.
"We've offered Elvis a contract," Broncos president John Elway said, according to the Denver Post. "We'd like to have Elvis back."
According to reports, Dumervil has interest in returning to Denver, but there is work to do. By releasing Dumervil, the Broncos incurred $4.9 million in dead money toward their 2013 salary cap. Denver does not have much salary cap space remaining. If the two sides are going to agree to a deal in the neighborhood of the previous agreement, it would likely have to be a long-term contract with low base salaries and a significant signing bonus. That would allow the Broncos to spread the bonus over the length of the contract and reduce the initial cap hit.
That is assuming Denver would be willing to pay Dumervil close to what he would have made under the previous agreement. Free agent defensive ends have struggled to find deals on the open market, with a couple of notable names signing for significantly less than the $8 million Dumervil would have made next season. The Broncos have other options, including Dwight Freeney.
While the Broncos have other options on the free agent market, Dumervil has other suitors as well. The Baltimore Ravens are one of the teams reportedly interested in Dumervil. Already paying close to $5 million in dead space next season, Denver may be hesitant to get into a bidding war.
In order to work out a deal, the two sides would also have to move on from the previous situation. While it may be a concern, Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network thinks Dumervil would be able to move on.