ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —
Though the parties had agreed on a deal, the odds of Dumervil returning to Denver are hampered because cutting him could leave them with a salary cap hit of up to nearly $5 million.
Dumervil was second on the team last year with 11 sacks, but Broncos front office executive John Elway asked him to take a pay cut because the $12 million was well over the market price, even for top pass rushers this year. Dumervil led the league in sacks in 2009 (17) and the Broncos, then under coach Josh McDaniels, rewarded him with a six-year, $61.5 million contract. Dumervil received $14 million in 2011 and 2012.
The confusing day closes out what had been an otherwise successful week for Elway and the Broncos, who brought Wes Welker and four other free agents onto the roster and also re-signed defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson. They clearly wanted Dumervil to stay for the right price but now must decide whether to restart negotiations with him, pursue another edge pass rusher in free agency or wait until next month’s draft.