Missed Opportunity for Dumervil
by Jeffri Chadiha
Maybe Elvis Dumervil's pride got in the way. Maybe it was as simple as the Denver Broncos failing to make a deal that matched what the Baltimore Ravens gave the Pro Bowl defensive end over the weekend.
There's even the possibility that Dumervil felt he'd finally had enough. Whatever the case surrounding Dumervil's recent decision to sign with Baltimore, this much is true: He just lost his best chance at playing in the Super Bowl next season.
The Broncos are clearly the class of the AFC going into the 2013 season. Even with the recent screw-up that led to the team dumping Dumervil at the last minute for salary-cap considerations -- his paperwork didn't reach the Broncos in time to make his restructured contract valid by the NFL deadline -- Denver was looking increasingly like the runaway conference favorite.
Peyton Manning is still under center and Von Miller is still coming after opposing quarterbacks off the edge. The Broncos snatched wide receiver Wes Welker from the New England Patriots. The final key component would've been working a deal that would've kept Dumervil around a few more seasons.
Elvis Dumervil's replacement in Denver is more likely to make the Super Bowl than Dumervil is in Baltimore.It says here that the Broncos will find a way to compensate for that substantial loss. There's already talk of former Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney joining the roster, with ex-Atlanta Falcons pass-rusher John Abraham serving as the de facto Plan B. As for Dumervil, it's hard to see him finding greener pastures in his new home. The Ravens won the most recent Super Bowl with a magical run for the ages. They're simply not set up to repeat that feat this fall.
Their spiritual leader, Ray Lewis, is now in retirement. The soul of their secondary, Ed Reed, will be suiting up for the Houston Texans this coming season. Other young talents -- namely linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, and defensive backs Cary Williams and Bernard Pollard -- also have new homes. Overall, the Ravens are looking at only five returning starters from the defense that took the field in their win over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII.
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