Few defensive ends have maintained the consist elite production that Elvis Dumervil has over his career in the NFL. The five-time Pro Bowler who averaged 12 sacks per game over his career was recently cut by the Ravens. At 33, there are several factors that make Dumervil a target for the Bengals. Dumervil’s history of 4-3 scheme production, market value, and leadership qualities could all spark the possibilities of a potential union in the Queen City.
At 5-11 250 pounds, Dumervil is more of a fit for a 3-4 scheme edge rushing linebacker. However, if you take a closer look at his career you’ll notice Dumervil has played and excelled in a 4-3 scheme multiple seasons. Dumervil began his career in the 4-3 under head coach Mike Shanahan in 2006. During his rookie year, he primarily played defensive end and finished with 8.5 sacks in 13 games. In 2007, Dumervil recorded 12.5 sacks. In 2009 under head coach Josh McDaniels, Dumervil was the NFL sack-leader with 17 sacks. In 2011 under John Fox, Dumervil notched 9.5 sacks. Dumervil has more than proven he can play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
In recent history, Dumervil has suffered a steady decline since his last Pro Bowl season in 2014 where he recorded 17 sacks for a second time. He combined for only 9 total sacks the past two seasons due to an Achilles injury. The Achilles injury actually began in 2014 and lingered into 2015 and 2016. Dumervil learned in 2016 that his Achilles was 60 percent torn.
In a recent interview, Dumervil said “I know what I can do when I’m healthy. I didn’t have real offseason training. I know I have a lot in the tank, and it was probably a blessing in disguise that I didn’t get a lot of mileage this year. I’m excited for next season in making sure that I’m in tip-top shape.” Depending on how healthy Dumervil is will play a huge role on whether or not the Bengals will look into signing him. It doesn’t hurt to mention the Bengals kept former cornerback Leon Hall after he tore his Achilles twice.
Another reason the Bengals could also bring him is his leadership. After cutting Dumervil, Ravens’ GM Ozzie Newsome went on to praise him. “Elvis Dumervil has been a leader for us on and off the field.” Dumervil would seem to possess the qualities the Bengals’ front office looks for in their veterans.
The market for Dumervil could prove to be favorable for the Bengals. At 33 years old and coming off an injury, Dumervil could come at the price of $3-4 million on a 1 year deal with $1-2 million guaranteed. Since Dumervil was cut, the Bengals could sign him without losing compensatory picks next season similar to the veteran signings of Karlos Dansby and Brandon LaFell last season.
It would seem that Dumervil views the Bengals as a respectable team. After defeating the Bengals as a member of the Broncos, Dumervil told Mike Zimmer that the Bengals were a good team and just needed to believe they could win. Last year after sealing a Ravens victory over the Bengals with a strip sack, Dumervil said the Bengals were a “great-coached team with great talent.” The Bengals have shown interest in veteran edge rushers in the past such as Dwight Freeney. Dumervil would provide the Bengals with much needed sack production, leadership and professionalism to the Bengals locker room and if he is available, I believe he should interest the Bengals.