ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The NFL concluded its annual meetings Wednesday, and when John Elway and John Fox return to Colorado, they'll waste little time diving back into free agency, with defensive ends John Abraham and Dwight Freeney scheduled to visit Dove Valley on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
The meetings do not necessarily mean the Broncos have moved on from defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who was released last Friday after the paperwork for his renegotiated contract was not faxed in time to meet the league's 2 p.m. MDT deadline. However, with reports of multiple teams inquiring about Dumervil, the Broncos don't want to be left without an experienced pass rusher opposite Von Miller when the free-agent game of musical chairs stops.
Elway said Tuesday that the Broncos had offered Dumervil a contract, adding that the team would "love to have Elvis back." However, Elway understands why Dumervil would want to explore other options.
This is the first time the eight-year veteran has ever been on the open market; his previous contract was signed in July 2010 after he was a restricted free agent, per the odd rules of that last year before the previous collective bargaining agreement expired.
"With him being a free agent now, I'm sure he wants to see what's out there," Elway said. "But hopefully we can put everything back together and have Elvis back in a Broncos uniform."
Age will play a crucial role in the eventual contract value of Freeney, Abraham and Dumervil. Freeney turned 33 last month, and Abraham turns 35 in May. Dumervil celebrated his 29th birthday in January.
In the past two seasons, Dumervil has 20.5 sacks, Abraham 19.5 and Freeney 13.5, although Freeney spent 2012 working at outside linebacker for the first time in his career after the Colts converted to a 3-4 defensive alignment. Abraham also forced six fumbles last year, matching Dumervil's tally.
"The kid (Dumervil) made a lot of big plays for us this year and last," Head Coach John Fox said. "He's definitely a guy that is in the mix for us and will be in the mix, should be in the mix, and we'll see where that takes us."