The NFL’s sack leader plays for the Denver Broncos.
Whether he still plays there in 2010 remains to be seen.
Elvis Dumervil’s rookie contract expires after the 2009 season. Without a new labor deal, however, he won’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency.
So the Broncos can squat on his rights via a restricted free agency tender, which will entail a non-guaranteed salary far lower than the $10 million or so guaranteed that the franchise tender for defensive ends would entail.
But will even the highest possible tender offer keep teams away from Dumervil? The Vikings surely don’t regret giving up a first-round pick and a third-round pick for Jared Allen — and that’s the exact price an interested team would have to pay for pilfering Dumervil.
He has 40 sacks in five games short of four seasons. In comparison, Texans defensive end Mario Williams — the first pick in the 2006 draft — has 35.5 career sacks in the same span.
So the Broncos might have to use the franchise tag to ensure that Dumervil stays put.
Or they can pay him.
The Broncos have two other key players who will be restricted free agents in 2010 absent a new labor deal — receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Kyle Orton.
So with his push for a new deal really heating up, we’ve got one piece of advice for Dumervil when the Broncos head to Denver for a game on December 27.
Resist the urge to stomp on Mike Vick’s leg.