Throughout the 2012 season, the Atlanta Falcons notched a whopping 29 sacks as their pass-rush failed to make a consistent impact. Their only reliable rusher, John Abraham, is no longer with the team, which means a new dynamic edge player should be added to the mix.
There’s a good chance that, unless his stance on a pay cut changes in the next few days, Elvis Dumervil will get his pink slip from the Denver Broncos. If that happens, there’s a good chance that the Falcons will at least put feelers out on the explosive pass-rusher.
Above all, Dumervil has the elite pass-rushing abilities that the Falcons will be severely lacking with Abraham now out of the picture. Kroy Biermann is a reliable veteran, but has seen a drop in production as of late. Ray Edwards was brought in to create that pressure a couple of years ago, but failed miserably. Lawrence Sidbury is leaving Atlanta via free agency, but was never a significant part of the pass-rush anyways.
Over the past three seasons, Dumervil has tallied 37.5 sacks while playing an integral role in the Broncos impressive defense. With outside linebacker Von Miller taking the spotlight, though, Dumervil has lost his role as their No.1 pass-rusher and is no longer worth the $13.623 million that he’s set to count against the cap in 2013.
While Dumervil and his agent are open to restructuring his deal, they have held firm on their stance that taking a pay cut is a no-no. That, however, could effectively end his time in Denver. The team can save just under $9 million by severing ties, but must do so before March 16 or else his salary becomes guaranteed.
By the looks of it, Dumervil won’t be a Bronco for much longer. The market will be hot for an elite defensive end who is still on the right side of 30-years-old. His familiarity with Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who coached Dumervil in Denver in 2009, could give Atlanta an edge if he hits the open market.
If the Falcons can get him at a reasonable price, Dumervil makes sense. He fits their scheme, has connections to Nolan, and can bring that dynamic presence to their pass-rush to help counteract the loss of Abraham.
At the same time, this could all just be wishful thinking.