Ravens swipe in on Dumervil, bolster depleted defense
Dumervil became a free agent after an odd mishap prevented his restructured contract with the Denver Broncos from being submitted to the league office on time, locking in his massive $12 million salary. Rather than pay Dumervil all that money, the Broncos released him. Although his intention was rumored to be returning to the Broncos on a new contract, it is believed that the Ravens offered a better deal.
Dumervil will join the Ravens' 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker playing opposite Terrell Suggs, forming one of the premier pass rushing duos in the league. Though he has played defensive end each of the past two seasons, Dumervil does have experience as an outside linebacker. His most recent season playing the position (2009), Dumervil racked up a league-leading 17.0 sacks on his way to an All-Pro selection.
The addition of Dumervil is a huge win for the Ravens, who have already lost six of the starters from their Super Bowl champion defense. Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams, Bernard Pollard, and Dannell Ellerbe were all lost to free agency, while Ray Lewis has retired. The defense is still likely to be worse than it was in 2012, but Dumervil provides a significant boost that should ease the pain of losing several key players.
As for the Broncos, they are now in search of a quality veteran defensive end. The top names on the market right now are John Abraham and Dwight Freeney. Abraham, who played with the Atlanta Falcons last season, appears to be the better option at this point in time. Despite being 34 years of age, Abraham racked up 10.0 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2012. Freeney is coming off a down year with only 5.0 sacks, but was playing out of position in Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense. A return to the 4-3 in Denver would likely improve Freeney's production, and his relationship with Peyton Manning (who he spent 10 years with on the Colts) could play into the Broncos' decision.