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My Way or the Highway: The implosion of the Denver Broncos

This isn't going to be a very long or detailed post, just some thoughts hastily thrown together after the latest debacle from Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos.

Apparently they've sent a letter to Elvis Dumervil telling him that they're exercising their right to only give him a 10% pay raise if he doesn't sign his free agent tender by Monday. This isn't exactly an uncommon thing in the NFL (Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson of the Rams also received letters last week saying the same thing), but it's a troubling thing for the Denver Broncos.

According to reports Dumervil was planning on signing on Monday anyway, but now I have to wonder if he will. The team is playing hardball with him and if he holds out and says he doesn't want to play they'll have to get rid of him. Since McDaniels has been hired has head coach of the Broncos these are the players/personnell he's driven away.

  • Jay Cutler

  • Brandon Marshall (granted he always was outspoken but Shanahan managed to keep him mostly inline)

  • Tony Scheffler (who never was in any trouble previously)

  • Mike Nolan.

  • Now possibly Elvis Dumervil

You've got to wonder how this is going to affect the Broncos performance in the future. Their QBs are Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and Tim Tebow--I'd be worried if I were them. They don't have a star wide receiver, and they don't have a star TE. Nolan took the Denver defense from 31st in DVOA (according to Football Outsiders), to 7th in one season. That's amazing.

And now they're playing hardball with their star defensive player.

I do understand discipline in the NFL--but these aren't high school or college players. They're grown men, and I think you have to earn the ability to say "My way or the highway". Bill Belichick has earned that ability. Josh McDaniels hasn't.

If I were Elvis Dumervil I would hold out and not sign my tender. I'd demand a trade because I can guarantee that there will be times lined up to pay him the money he deserves.

This is strictly speculation on my part, but I'd be surprised if Dumervil was still a Bronco when the season starts.