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Broncos' Dumervil practices despite Monday deadline to sign tender

  • By Associated Press
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Linebacker Elvis Dumervil has until Monday to sign his restricted free agent tender from the Denver Broncos or face losing money.

The Broncos sent the 2009 NFL sacks leader a letter informing him of the deadline. Dumervil has a restricted free agent tender worth $3.168 million on the table. If he doesn't sign by Monday, the team can reduce the amount by 110 percent of his 2009 salary, which was $540,000.

Elvis Dumervil , LB
Denver Broncos
2009 Statistics
Tackles: 49
Sacks: 17
Forced fumbles: 4

Even though he's not under contract, Dumervil practiced with the team Friday and planned to attend all three days of the Broncos' weekend minicamp.

"Football has a business side to it and to me there's a fun side, which is playing football," Dumervil said. "That's the side I love. As far as the business side, it is what it is. There's nothing I could really do about it."

Denver coach Josh McDaniels said the team isn't playing hardball with Dumervil, and sending the letter was part of the process.

"It's a normal policy and procedure in the CBA," McDaniels said. "We're certainly not unique in that at all. There are so many teams that have done that. We'd like to have all our players under contract in training camp. There's certainly no message sent with that at all."

Dumervil had 17 sacks in 2009 and became the first player in Broncos history to lead the NFL in that category. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl.

Despite his stellar season, he is in tough contract negotiations with the team. He said he was not caught off guard by the letter.

"I've never been surprised," he said. "Being here, going on my fifth year, I've seen a lot so I'm not surprised by anything really."

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Dumervil said he didn't want to have his contract situation play out in public, and he doesn't feel the need to campaign for more money.

"I know my value. The stats speak for themselves so I'm not going to jump on the Elvis Dumervil bandwagon," he said. "I'm not that type of guy. I don't need to say much.

Dumervil said it was important to take part in the minicamp even if he hasn't signed a contract.

"The biggest thing is I haven't been here for the offseason program so I wanted to come and get acclimated with the new guys, let the guys know where I'm at," he said. "My teammates know what type of guy I am."

Cornerback Champ Bailey said the team needs Dumervil.

"I'm trying not to bite my tongue and trying not to say too much at the same time, but he's a guy that we need," Bailey said. "I wish things would work a lot faster than they are. Hopefully by the time when it counts, the season, we'll have it done because we need him."

Dumervil's attendance at the camp, which runs through Sunday, has impressed his teammates.

"He doesn't have to be here and they don't have to pay him," Bailey said. "He wouldn't be wrong by not being here but it says a lot about him just being here. When he's actually under contract he wants to know the system, he wants to know his teammates, it feels good to me to have a young guy take an approach like that."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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