It’s still unclear how the tentative deal to restructure Elvis Dumervil’s contract imploded. The NFL Players Association plans to seek some clarity.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the union has “asked for an inquiry” regarding the events culminating in Dumervil being released.
For starters, Dumervil may not want an inquiry, because an inquiry could uncover that his agent, Marty Magid, got cold feet after reportedly agreeing to cut the player’s salary from $12 million to $8 million in 2013, opting instead to sign elsewhere and get more. (Then again, no free-agent pass rusher has gotten more than $7.5 million per year in the current hiring cycle.)
It’s also possible that Magid could end up facing scrutiny from the union, which is responsible for regulating agents. Several years ago, Carl and Kevin Poston faced NFLPA discipline after failing to read the final version of a contract signed by linebacker LaVar Arrington while racing to beat a deadline for getting the deal done.
Then there’s the fact that deals between players and teams aren’t done until they’re officially done. There are no enforceable oral agreements in the NFL, and in this specific case the Broncos had to exercise their right to terminate the existing contract by 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, or the player’s entire $12 million salary for 2013 would have been fully guaranteed.
In the real world, contract-law issues of offer and acceptance would be relevant. For the NFL, the contract becomes binding only when it is submitted to the league office.
While this bright-line rule invites potential shenanigans that violate the understanding between player and team, it keeps the NFL from ever having to preside over pissing matches regarding whether or not a contract was finalized. It’s finalized only when the league office gets it.Here, the NFL didn’t get the new contract and the Broncos terminated the existing one. The chances of that outcome changing fall somewhere between slim and none, with the needle much closer to none.