Elvis Dumervil’s injury, Darrelle Revis’ holdout and the New York Jets

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: New York Jets Darrelle Revis poses for a portrait on March 16, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Jets’ GM Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson saw the news that Broncos’ linebacker Elvis Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle yesterday.

The conversation probably went something like this:

“We’re f*&%ed with Darrelle Revis, Woody!”

“Now, now – maybe he didn’t hear about this, Mike.”

“It’s all over the f*#&ing news, Woody! Get your head out of your a$$!”

Dumervil led the league in sacks last year while emerging as the Broncos’ best pass-rusher. He also had just signed a lucrative six-year, $61.5 million contract just three weeks before suffering the injury. Now he’s likely to miss the entire season and Denver is up a creek without a paddle in terms of his contract. (Even if the injury keeps him out of football this year, the Broncos still have to pay him.)

One could only imagine that the injury reinforced to Revis the need for him to continue to holdout. He already has former Jet Leon Washington in his ear about what could happen if he plays on a one-year contract, and now Dumervil’s injury serves as yet another reminder to 1) get paid and then 2) play.

The Jets want Revis to either play on a restructured one-year deal or sign a long-term agreement that will pay him slightly less annually than the Raiders are paying Nnamdi Asomugha. But Revis wants neither – especially not the former. Had Dumervil not signed the six-year agreement before suffering the injury, there’s no way the Broncos would have paid him after he tore the muscle. He would have probably had to produce another double-digit sack season just to justify a long-term deal because all of the leverage he got from his performance last year would have flown out the window.

If the Jets were hoping that Revis would blink first, they may be waiting a long time in light of Dumervil’s injury. It might be time for Johnson and Tannenbaum to pay Revis what he wants and call it a day.

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The Broncos’ upcoming contract dilemma with Bailey and Dumervil

Mile Klis of the Denver Post brought up an interesting point recently in regards to Elvis Dumervill and Champ Bailey’s contract situations.

Both players will become free agents at the end of the season and both could command salaries that push north of $10 million per season. If the Broncos give one player a long-term deal, will they be able to do the same with the other?

Dumervil is 26 and coming off a season in which he led the league in sacks with 17. Bailey is 32, but is still playing at a Pro Bowl level, is a fan favorite and recently told the media that he doesn’t plan on hanging ‘em up for at least another five more years.

Generally, teams pay younger players first and legit pass-rushers like Dumervil are hard to come by. But Pro Bowl caliber cornerbacks don’t fall off trees either and Bailey hasn’t shown signs of decline.

What is owner Pat Bowlen to do? If he pays both of them market value, he’ll cripple his team’s budget and the Broncos probably wouldn’t be able to be major players in free agency next year. If he only pays one of them and allows the other to walk, he’ll have an angry fan base on his hands and worse, he’ll have a huge hole to fill defensively. If he gives one player a long-term deal and franchises the other, he could sabotage his short-term budget.

Even though Dumervil has toed the company line his entire career, this is one of the reasons why the Broncos have chosen to wait to give him a long-term contract. If he plays well this season, then they’ll have a huge decision to make at the end of the year. If he doesn’t play well, they might have an excuse to let him hit the free agent market and then they can invest long-term money in Bailey.

Either way, it doesn’t appear that Bowlen and the Broncos are ready to make a decision, which is why Dumervil still doesn’t have a multi-year deal.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

NFL Notes: Mankins requests trade, Dumervil signs tender & McRath busted for PEDs

– According to the Boston Herald and Patriots’ beat writer Mike Reiss, guard Logan Mankins has requested a trade in wake of his current contract situation. Says Makins: “I don’t need to be here anymore. This is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people.”

The Patriots aren’t big on handing out big contracts to guards (or anyone not named Tom Brady for that matter), but it’ll be interesting to see what approach they take now that Mankins has demanded a trade.

– The NFL has suspended Titans linebacker Gerald McRath four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He was expected to start this season after seeing extensive action last year as a rookie, but now it appears that David Thornton’s job is safe.

Speaking of the Titans, Chris Johnson continues to stay away from mini-camp in hopes that the team will give him a new contract. A resolution doesn’t appear to be in sight, as the Titans wants him to play on his current deal, which still has three years remaining on it. Of course if CJ decides to holdout through training camp, Tennessee could be forced to pony up. Johnson is without a doubt their most productive player.

Elvis Dumervil signed his one-year, $3.168 million tender with the Broncos on Monday. The Denver Post’s Lindsay Jones writes that the two parties will continue to work on a long-term deal, which Dumervil deserves in wake of his performance last season.

– The Vikings re-signed restricted free agent Ray Edwards to a one-year, $2.521 million deal. The defensive end had threatened last month to hold out, but apparently that was just a ploy in hopes of receiving long-term contract. Edwards recorded 51 tackles and 8.5 sacks last season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Broncos being unreasonable with Dumervil

The Broncos are proving that if a player works hard, keeps his mouth shut and produces on the field, that he’ll be…threatened with a pay cut.

According to the Denver Post, the Broncos recently sent a letter to linebacker Elvis Dumervil threatening him that if he doesn’t sign his tender by June 15, then they’ll exercise their right to reduce his 2010 salary.

Keep in mind that Dumervil is the player that led the NFL in sacks last season with 17. He’s also the one that didn’t complain when Denver demanded that he switch positions after it hired Mike Nolan and implemented the 3-4 defense.

Albert Haynesworth hasn’t shown up to one of the Redskins’ workouts (voluntary or mandatory) because he doesn’t want to play in the 3-4, yet Dumervil not only doesn’t complain about the switch, but also excels in his new position and the Broncos are threatening to reduce his pay. What a joke.

Granted, players like Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall have burned Denver the past two years by taking a hard stance with the team in order to get what they want. But Dumervil has been the exact opposite of difficult this entire time. And even though the warning might just be a formality, it was in poor taste by a Broncos organization that has been heavily criticized for some of the personnel decisions its made since Josh McDaniels arrived.

The NFL is a business and it’ll always be that way. But there are few players that toe the company line without bitching about their contracts and Dumervil is one of them. He deserves a new contract – not a warning about a pay reduction.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Broncos walking a dangerous line with Dumervil

When Josh McDaniels and his new coaching staff took over in Denver last year, one of the changes that they implemented was switching from the 4-3 to the 3-4. With that change, one of the things they did was ask defensive end Elvis Dumervil if he would switch positions and stand up as an outside linebacker.

Even though most players don’t like switching positions (why would they if they got to the NFL playing the position they’re most familiar with), Dumervil did so without complaint. He then proceeded to rack up a league-high 17 sacks in a career year.

Thanks to the un-capped year, Dumervil is a restricted free agent. The Broncos assigned a first and third round tender on the 26-year-old linebacker, but he has yet to sign it because he’s seeking a long-term deal. He’s also working out on his own in Florida instead of in Denver, as he waits for the Broncos to come through with a long-term offer.

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