Several years ago, the Miami Dolphins cut Joey Porter only to discover that a salary cap technicality made it impossible for the team to cut him at the time without going over the allotted cap. A few weeks later, they cut him again, and never looked back. Today, a technicality again hit the league, this time with the Denver Broncos.
The team has been working with defensive end Elvis Dumervil on new terms for his contract, lowering his salary cap number from $12 million to $8 million. The two sides had until 2pm Mountain Time to work out the deal before Dumervil's entire salary would become guaranteed for the year. The Broncos had said that, if a deal wasn't reached before then, they would be forced to cut the three time Pro Bowler.
The two sides did reach the deal - and then the Broncos were forced to cut Dumervil.
Dumervil's agent did not get the paperwork to the Broncos until 2:06pm MT. Those six minutes were six minutes the Broncos, literally, could not afford. At 1:59pm MT, despite having the verbal agreement from Dumervil at 1:25pm MT, Denver had to release Dumervil.
"We had to protect ourselves," a Broncos source told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington.
And it all comes down to a fax machine. Dumervil's agent could not get the fax to the Broncos on time. Now, Dumervil is able to sign with any team in the league.
Of course, Dumervil could just start working on a new contract with the Broncos, but that's going to be difficult now. Dumervil already accounts for $4.9 million against the Broncos' salary cap in dead money. If the sides were to work out a deal now, that would likely be the starting point as far as the team is concerned.
Most teams in the league would be happy to pay a little more to land a 29-year old pass rusher coming off two straight Pro Bowls, and three in four years.
So, Dolphins, the J-Peezy release, keep, release doesn't look so bad anymore.