Before Elvis Dumervil fired Marty Magid, the agent that allegedly screwed up his deal with the Denver Broncos, Magid told the press that Dumervil would be interested in playing for the Miami Dolphins.
Certainly other teams will show interest in Dumervil as well, but it should be no surprise that the Dolphins are on his radar. Dumervil is from Miami and has ties to the local community. What kid does not dream of playing for the local football club?
Another point of interest for the accomplished pass rusher is the wholesale upgrade taking place within the Dolphins organization. Starting last season with the hiring of head coach Joe Philbin and the drafting of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Miami has been building a team to compete atop the AFC East. Knowing he would be joining a strong defensive unit, with elite pass rusher Cameron Wake on the opposite end, Dumervil could see this as an opportunity to join an up-and-coming franchise.
Now that offensive tackle Jake Long has accepted an offer to play with the St. Louis Rams, the Dolphins have plenty of cap space to work with. A deal for Dumervil would not be a problem as far as the numbers work out, but paying him the money he wants could crate problems in other areas.
If Dumervil is paid the $8 million he was getting from the Broncos, it would give him a bigger paycheck than Wake. This could be an absolute non-issue, but if Wake feels slighted over a player making more for doing less, the locker room will suffer. One sure fire way for all of the Dolphins off-season moves to be for naught is to have a player of Wake’s stature unhappy over a perceived slight.
Another issue could be Dumervil’s size. He is extremely short (5-11, 260lbs) for a defensive end in a 4-3 base defense. Last season he was ranked 44th among 4-3 defensive ends that were on the field for 25% of the defensive snaps (Pro Football Focus). His biggest deficiency is playing against the run. On the surface, the undersized specialist does not look like a positional fit.
The neutralizer to this is Dumervil’s track record. In his last three years on the field he has recorded 38.5 sacks (2009, 2011, 2012). Last season, he continued his legacy of disrupting opposing offenses, hurrying the quarterback 39 times with 11 hits. He totaled 12 sacks, including three in week 16 alone, and he had six forced fumbles. Those types of numbers would look nice on a stat sheet next to Wake’s numbers. Wake ranked number one overall at the same position (PFF).
While there is no doubt the two would make a phenomenal pass rushing tandem, there are a few hurdles to get past to make it happen. No one can cry over adding Dumervil’s talent to the D-Line, but team chemistry has to take center stage on this one. If general manager Jeff Ireland could get everyone on board, signing Dumervil would instantly make the Dolphins’ front 7 one of the best in the NFL