The Baltimore Ravens made a pleasant, uncharacteristic personnel decision in March when they decided to spend big on former Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
The Ravens don’t tend to throw money at high-profile free agents from other teams, but they were confident enough in Dumervil to sign him to a five-year contract worth up to $35 million.
When the move was made, Ravens fans rejoiced, as there was a glaring void left at outside linebacker when Paul Kruger departed for Cleveland. Not only was there a need for another high-caliber player to play opposite Terrell Suggs, but Dumervil is one of the premier pass-rushers in the AFC, if not the entire NFL.
However, now that he has settled into Baltimore, it seems as if he has joined the team without much fanfare or recognition. Maybe that’s how Dumervil and the Ravens want it to be, but it seems interesting that he hasn’t received the publicity for a player of his talent.
He has been praised for the immediate leadership that he brought with him, as well as the fact that he has been at the Ravens facility almost every day so far this offseason.
But what seems to be missing here is the fact that the Ravens just added a three-time Pro Bowler, a former All-Pro and a former NFL season sacks leader. This isn’t just another outside linebacker to add to a starting lineup; this is a guy that many NFL defensive coordinators would love to build their defense around.
He’s only 29-years old, so it isn’t as if he’s in the twilight of his career. He is still in his prime, and he showed that in 2012 by recording 11.0 sacks and forcing six fumbles. He was slightly overshadowed by fellow Broncos linebacker Von Miller, but almost every defensive player in the NFL would be overshadowed by Miller, as he has quickly developed into one of the best all-around players in the league.
His best season came in 2009 when he recorded 17.0 sacks, but his statistics have declined since then. The only thing missing is he played in a 3-4 in 2009 before switching to a 4-3 after the season. Could he return to his 2009 form moving back to a 3-4 defense in Baltimore playing alongside Suggs? It’s certainly justifiable to believe so.
Dumervil isn’t just an average veteran pickup; he’s a guy who can singlehandedly change a game.
Appreciate him, Ravens fans, because Dumervil is an elite talent who is simply flying under the radar, which could actually be a good thing.
Sleep on Dumervil if you choose to for now, but just wait until him and Suggs assert themselves as one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL this coming season.