An offseason of departures and disappointment brightened considerably on Sunday as top pass rusher Elvis Dumervil agreed to terms to join the Ravens.
As first reported by The Denver Post, the 29-year-old defensive end has agreed to a five-year contract with Baltimore after contemplating offers from both the Ravens and Broncos. Dumervil will take his physical on Tuesday before the deal can be finalized.
The deal will pay out a maximum of $35 million and $8.5 million in the first year of the deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. More importantly for this season’s salary cap, Dumervil will only carry a cap number of $2.5 million, per Peter King of Sports Illustrated. Dumervil is receiving a $7.5 million signing bonus, a $1 million base salary for the 2013 season, and $12 million in guaranteed money.
Dumervil had 11 sacks, six forced fumbles, and 54 tackles to help Denver finish with the best regular-season record in the AFC last season. His addition softens the blow of outside linebacker Paul Kruger leaving the Ravens to sign a five-year, $41 million contract with the Cleveland Browns on the first day of free agency.
The three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher will move to outside linebacker in the Ravens’ 3-4 system, which shouldn’t be a problem considering he held a similar role when Denver ran a 3-4 under former head coach Josh McDaniels. Dumervil had ties with the Ravens through inside linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale, who served as Broncos defensive coordinator in 2010.
Dumervil’s best season occurred in 2009 when he collected a career-high 17 sacks while playing outside linebacker. Entering his eighth season this fall, the 2006 fourth-round pick has accumulated 63 1/2 sacks in his career.
The Ravens can thank a fax machine snafu that forced the Broncos to release Dumervil after the sides had agreed to a restructured contract on March 14. As a result, Dumervil fired agent Marty Magid and hired Tom Condon of CAA to represent him. Earlier reports had indicated the Ravens’ offer didn’t contain as much money early in the contract as the one offered by Denver, but Dumervil was also having a difficult time dealing with the reality of the Broncos releasing him after seven years with them.
General manager Ozzie Newsome still has plenty of work to do to replace six key defensive players who have departed from their Super Bowl XLVII team, but the pass-rushing duo of Dumervil and Terrell Suggs is sure to strike fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks. Second-year linebacker Courtney Upshaw will likely spell the pass-rushing duo in run situations in order to keep both veterans fresher over the course of a 16-game season.
With Suggs and Dumervil lining up on opposite edges, defensive coordinator Dean Pees now has a pair of players who’ve combined for 148 sacks in their respective careers.