Former Cardinals

Denver Playing Hardball With Dumervil

That's why Elvis is the King.

The Denver Postis reporting that the Broncos are flexing their muscles with former Cardinal Elvis Dumervil.

After leading the NFL with 17 sacks last season, and recording 43 sacks through his four seasons, Dumervil, 26, wants to be among the league’s five highest-paid pass rushers. The Chicago Bears recently gave a $42 million guaranteed contract to Julius Peppers, who is 30 and coming off a 10 1/2-sack season. Last summer, Baltimore signed Terrell Suggs, who was coming off an eight-sack season, to a $38.1 million guarantee.

According to an NFL Players Associations source, the Broncos recently sent a letter to Dumervil stating that if he didn’t sign his restricted free-agent tender of $3.168 million by Monday, the team on Tuesday would exercise its right to reduce his 2010 salary to 10 percent above what he made the previous season.

Dumervil made roughly $573,000 last season, which would put his 2010 salary at about $630,000 if he doesn’t sign his tender. Would the Broncos really play hardball with their Pro Bowl linebacker by paying him a relative pittance?

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