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Dumervil’s departure a blow to Broncos but no knockout punch

Von Miller AP

In the end, the Ravens probably need Elvis Dumervil more than the Broncos. The rationale boils down to two words:

Von Miller.

Miller, who is two days shy of his 24th birthday, has notched 30 sacks in his first two NFL seasons. What’s more, he’s under contract for two more seasons at very reasonable salaries — about $2.3 million in 2013 and $3.2 million in 2014, per Rotoworld figures.

The Miller contract, in addition to being a major bargain, gives the Broncos time to find a workable long-term solution at Dumervil’s right defensive end spot. The Broncos already have a promising prospect on the left side in Derek Wolfe, who had a half-dozen sacks as a rookie.

The Ravens, by contrast, lost outside linebacker Paul Kruger (team-high nine regular-season sacks) to Cleveland. Terrell Suggs will be 31 in October, and he is entering his 11th NFL season. Overall, Baltimore had just 37 sacks a season ago — 15 less than Denver.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported that Denver is expected to look at free-agent ends Dwight Freeney and John Abraham as Dumervil replacements. Both would be decent short-term fixes. If the Broncos can add a capable veteran and add a rookie right end who shows some potential in 2013, then they are really on to something.

That said, even if the Broncos can’t replace Dumervil’s 11 sacks from a season ago, they are likely to still have a respectable pass rush as long as Miller is in the lineup. Miller did, after all, have more than a third of the team’s sacks last season.

What’s more, it’s not as if the Broncos hadn’t improved their defense before losing Dumervil. Free-agent pickups cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton could prove nice values. I’m especially intrigued by Rodgers-Cromartie, who gets to work with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Champ Bailey and could thrive in a defense that could see a lot of offenses in obvious pass-first situations. Moreover, Rodgers-Cromartie could be seeing numerous quarterbacks under duress — something any corner should welcome.

Yes, the Broncos are worse off not having Elvis Dumervil. But it could be worse. It could have been Miller on the open market for any team to sign.

Now that’s a nightmarish scenario.

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11 Responses to “Dumervil’s departure a blow to Broncos but no knockout punch”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Mar 24, 2013 5:55 PM

    Top 3 OLB in professional Football – Ryan Kerrigan, Cameron Wake and Shaun Phillips. In that order.

  2. jtchernak says: Mar 24, 2013 6:03 PM

    They officially have a horrible pass rush now

  3. zclorz says: Mar 24, 2013 6:21 PM

    Yawn…

  4. zclorz says: Mar 24, 2013 6:23 PM

    Just kidding, no yawn this time. Just one thing, Broncos lost a big time player in Dumervil. Them and the Pats will duke it out for Abraham and Freeney.

    We’ll see if a third team comes in and makes a swoop.

  5. ravenator says: Mar 24, 2013 6:25 PM

    Dumervil just basically said he wants a QB who doesn’t turtle up in the playoffs. Cheers haters!

  6. ravenator says: Mar 24, 2013 6:25 PM

    What an amazing sunday!

  7. mjkelly77 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:00 PM

    When you overpay a bobble-headed old man how can you afford other decent players? Greedy Swamp Boy.

  8. dcapettini says: Mar 24, 2013 8:07 PM

    It’s not so much losing Dumervil that hurts, it is the $4.5m in cap money they have to eat.

  9. decon49 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:25 PM

    wonder if this wqill affect millers performance?

  10. southridge23 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:42 PM

    ” I’m especially intrigued by Rodgers-Cromartie, who gets to work with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Champ Bailey”
    ……
    I know it’s off topic but there can’t be a more recklessly over-hyped player in nfl history than champ bailey. First-ballot, really?!?! Lets put this in perspective..

    ronde barber has 25 more sacks, 6 more forced fumbles with only 5 less picks in his career..not to mention a Super Bowl ring…yet I never hear his name a me took for HOF let alone first ballot! Can we actually watch the games and look at the numbers instead of regurgitate what everyone else is saying??

    However in fairness to champ he should get a SB ring this year for beings the ravens MVP in the playoffs!!

  11. gawel52 says: Mar 24, 2013 11:18 PM

    Mike, why the bold on the player names?

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