Elvis Dumervil, a guy I’d call one of the most underrated edge rushers of all-time, may be best known for the notorious fax incident. His impact as a playmaking pass rusher, however, is something the Ravens will truly miss.
Baltimore, in its efforts to get younger, decided to cut the 33-year-old Dumervil. This was first reported by former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith.
Dumervil thanked the Ravens organization and fans via his Twitter page.
— Elvis Dumervil (@EKD92) March 8, 2017
Dumervil has put together quite the career, tallying 99 career sacks and 23 career forced fumbles. In his four-year Ravens career, the outside linebacker totaled 35.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Dumervil’s efforts were acknowledged in the form of five Pro Bowl appearances and two first team All-Pro selections. Dumervil’s best season came in 2009 with the Broncos, when the edge defender led the NFL with a jaw-dropping 17 sacks.
As of late, however, things have changed. Dumervil seems to have lost a step, with his sack total dropping to nine over the past two seasons combined following his second career 17-sack season in 2014. The free agent dealt with a nagging foot injury throughout the 2016 season, missing eight games. As a result, Dumervil only played in just over a quarter of snaps on defense throughout the season, meaning he was only taking about half of the team’s snaps when he was on the field.
Nonetheless, one can never have too many edge rushers, which means Dumervil will be a hot commodity on the free agent market. At this point in his career, the linebacker is really only a situational pass rusher. However, in the right role, we’ve seen Dumervil can still get the job done. Look for an established contender with at least one quality pass rusher to target Dumervil and line him up on the opposite side. The Ravens did it with Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, and the pairing worked perfectly early on.
Speaking of Suggs, the Ravens’ linebacking corps is already looking completely different than it did last year. With Dumervil cut and Zach Orr gone as well after a surprise retirement, Baltimore will rely on Suggs and C.J. Mosley more now than ever. Cutting Dumervil puts the Ravens in the market for a pass rusher, though the move suggests Baltimore could be looking for younger players to infuse into the defense.
Cutting Dumervil is a risky move for the Ravens, but it saves the team money and gives Baltimore, one of the oldest teams in the NFL last season, an opportunity to get younger. With talent on both sides of the ball, it’s very possible we could see the Ravens in playoff contention next season.