The Ravens face critical offseason personnel decisions, including which players to bring back, and which veteran players are no longer worth the financial investment.
Here are the pros and cons regarding pass rusher Elvis Dumervil:
Reasons to keep Dumervil:
Dumervil is a proven pass rusher with 99 career sacks, and he will be highly motivated wherever he plays next season. He turns 33 years old Thursday (Jan. 19), and wants to show he has plenty left in the tank. I asked Dumervil after the season-ending game in Cincinnati whether he thought he would return to the Ravens.
“Wherever I play next season, I’ll be a beast,” Dumervil said.
Dumervil had 17 sacks in 2014, and the Ravens need pass rushers. He was never fully healthy in 2016, missing eight games after Achilles surgery. If the Ravens release Dumervil, there’s a chance he could have a big season playing for someone else.
Reasons to release Dumervil:
The Ravens would save more than $6 million in salary cap space by cutting ties with Dumervil. There’s no guarantee Dumervil will stay healthy, or be a double-digit sack artist again. The money the Ravens could save by releasing Dumervil could be used to fill holes elsewhere.
My gut feeling is that Dumervil and the Ravens will part ways. Terrell Suggs is returning, and he led the Ravens with eight sacks in 2016 playing with a torn biceps. Matt Judon had four sacks as a rookie. The biggest disappointment in the pass rushing department was Za’Darius Smith, who had just one sack. However, even with Dumervil getting just three sacks in 2015, the Ravens won eight games, and had the league’s seventh-ranked defense. I think the Ravens will use the money they would pay Dumervil to address issues like finding another cover corner and an offensive playmaker.
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