Delay forces Broncos to cut star defensive end Dumervil
Time really is money. Nobody knows that better than Elvis Dumervil and the Denver Broncos.
Dumervil found himself out of a job and the Broncos were without their best defensive end Friday afternoon after they reached an agreement on a new contract, but saw it all come undone when tardy filing of the paperwork forced Denver to release him.
A person familiar with the negotiations gave The Associated Press details about the confusion. The person did not want to be identified because the negotiations were not public.
According to that person, the day played out like this:
• At 1:25 p.m., Denver time, Dumervil agreed to take a $4 million pay cut to remain with the AFC West champions for 2013.
• The paperwork was ready to be signed and sent to the league. But with the clock ticking on a 1:59 p.m. deadline, the Broncos were not seeing any sign of the signed copy on their fax machine
• With no signed contract in hand as 1:59 approached, the Broncos were forced to cut Dumervil, because once the 1:59 deadline passed, they were on the hook for the $12 million they owed him in the original contract.
• The team received the signed contract via fax at 2:06 p.m. That was seven minutes past the deadline and about 15 minutes later than they needed to receive it so they could review it and send it to the league.
Broncos front office chief John Elway said the team delivered its final contract proposal to Dumervil at 11 a.m. and set a 1 p.m. deadline for a decision. Elway said Dumervil accepted the contract at around 1:25 and "although we expressed our concern regarding the time constraints, we were assured that the signed documents would be submitted to us before the league's waiver deadline."
"We did not receive the documents from Elvis by the league's deadline and were forced to release him shortly before 2 p.m. MDT," Elway said.
Dumervil's agent, Marty Magid, did not return messages left by AP via text and voicemail.
Dumervil is now a free agent, dumped late onto a market where one top defensive end, Cliff Avril, just signed a two-year deal with Seattle worth an average of $7.5 million a year.
The Broncos now can start looking at other defensive ends, including Dwight Freeney, in what appears to be a buyer's market for pass rushers.
Though the parties had agreed on a deal, the odds of Dumervil returning to Denver are hampered because cutting him could leave them with a salary cap hit of up to nearly $5 million.
Vikings reach terms with Jennings
Greg Jennings has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the latest Green Bay Packer to head across the border and join their bitter NFC North rivals.
Jennings made his decision Friday, giving the Vikings the No. 1 receiver they so desperately needed after trading Percy Harvin to Seattle.
ESPN first reported the five-year deal. Whenever the Vikings have really needed to fill a big hole, they've gone to Green Bay to do it more often than not.
The 29-year-old Jennings played in only eight games for the Packers in 2012, plus two in the playoffs, because of a torn lower abdominal muscle and finished with a career-low 366 yards receiving with an average of 10.2 yards per catch, also his worst NFL total. In 2011, he missed three games with a sprained left knee.
Giants give Rivers a one-year deal
Linebacker Keith Rivers has signed a new one-year deal with the New York Giants.
Rivers, a former first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, was traded to New York for a fifth-round pick on April 11, 2012. He missed five games with the Giants because of a slow-healing hamstring injury.
Rivers, 27, has never played a full season, and sat out all of 2011 with the Bengals after undergoing wrist surgery.
Rivers had 44 tackles last season.
TE Keller signs with Miami
Tight end Dustin Keller moved up in the AFC East standings, and now that he's with the Miami Dolphins he expects to keep climbing.
The former New York Jet signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins. He said he wanted to join a playoff contender and likes the Dolphins' chances under coach Joe Philbin in 2013.
"Coach Philbin is putting all the pieces together to win now," Keller said. "This team is in a position to win, and that's what we're going to do."
The Dolphins are coming off their fourth consecutive losing season, but they did finish a game ahead of the Jets at 7-9, and optimism is high in the wake of several free agent moves this week.
The Dolphins signed receiver Mike Wallace and re-signed receiver Brian Hartline. With those wideouts and Keller, who has 17 career touchdown catches, Miami should be better able to spread the field for young quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Reed leaves Texans with no deal
Free agent safety Ed Reed is leaving Houston with no deal in place with the Texans.
The nine-time Pro Bowl safety departed Reliant Stadium on Friday after two days of talks. Reed arrived in Houston on Thursday aboard team owner Bob McNair's private jet and had a full day of meetings. The team announced on its Twitter site Friday morning that Reed was back in its offices at Reliant. Reed is the Ravens' franchise leader in interceptions with 61 and his 1,541 return yards with those pickoffs is an NFL career record.
Cardinals release Kolb
The Arizona Cardinals have released Kevin Kolb, ending the quarterback's two injury-filled seasons with the team. The team's move came just ahead of the deadline for paying Kolb a $2 million roster bonus. The team paid Kolb some $20 million over two seasons after acquiring him in a trade that sent a second-round draft pick and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Philadelphia Eagles.