Elvis Dumervil’s fax snafu on Friday ended up being one of the more puzzling stories of free agency thus far. Beyond the fact that fax machines still exist in 2013, the Broncos cut the defensive end after he failed to turn his contract restructuring paperwork in on time but according to Dumervil’s camp that’s not his fault.
Just spoke Elvis Dumervil’s agent. He’s pointing the finger back at the Broncos. Writing it up now.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2013
Apparently, the negotiations on Friday were all set in place and Dumervil had agreed to restructure his deal to $8 million. This ended a week-long standoff between the Broncos and Dumervil, as the defensive end was adamant about getting paid his $12 million the Broncos owed him. Once he realized that was a little out of line with the market, everything seemed to be fine and dandy.
Until, according to Dumervil’s agent Marty Magid, the Broncos altered the deal with less than a half-hour until the league mandated deadline.
“That stopped all the negotiations. We had to restart,” Magid said, via USA Today. “I had to explain it to him what this meant for him. He took some time to think about it and, in the end, he said, ‘I’ll take it. I’ll go back and play for it and show them what a great player I am.’”
Magid says that the Broncos claimed they weren’t receiving the fax and gave Dumervil a second number to try, but at this time it was already 3:55pm ET, five minutes shy of the 4pm ET deadline set by the NFL. Had the Broncos not released Dumervil, they would have had to pay him $12 million guaranteed for the 2013 season. So without a fax in hand (allegedly), the Broncos cut Dumervil loose at the absolute last minute.
“Twenty-three minutes to read it, scan it, fax it, get Elvis to a machine and get it through,” Magid said. “We tried.”
For those crying conspiracy, the Broncos didn’t get off scott-free, as they had to take a $5 million cap hit by releasing Dumervil. The team now has less than $8 million in cap space, so even if they wanted to give Dumervil the deal that was agreed upon, they simply don’t have the money to do so. Dumervil is an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign anywhere he wants, and he likely will after this embarrassing snafu has pretty much soiled what was left of the relationship between Dumervil and the Broncos.