Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil agreed to a reduced salary, but was released by the team after the paperwork for the new contract was not filed with the league office in time Friday, according to sources.
Dumervil's 2013 salary of $12 million was set to be guaranteed at 4 p.m. ET, but he agreed to take a pay cut to $8 million.
According to a source, both parties reached agreement at 3:25 p.m. ET on the restructured contract. But the team did not get a fax from Dumervil's agent until 4:06 p.m. ET, so it had to release him, according to the source.
Broncos team president John Elway issued a statement Friday night, explaining the situation from the team's point of view.
"Due to the procedural elements that were involved in executing the new proposal, we imposed a 1 p.m. MDT deadline for a decision, one hour before the NFL's waiver wire at 2 p.m. MDT. Our deadline was clearly communicated to Elvis' representative," Elway said in the statement. "At 1 p.m. MDT, we were informed by Elvis' representative that he declined our offer. We then prepared Elvis' termination notice to officially file his release with the NFL office.
"At approximately 1:25 p.m. MDT, however, we were informed that Elvis changed his mind and accepted the same contract we proposed nearly two-and-a-half hours earlier. Although we expressed our concern regarding the time constraints, we were assured that the signed documents would be submitted to us before the league's waiver deadline.
"We did not receive the documents from Elvis by the league's deadline and were forced to release him shortly before 2 p.m. MDT.
"Due to this situation, there are now salary-cap implications associated with this transaction that we must consider with regard to potentially re-signing Elvis. At this moment, we are discussing all of our free-agency options to determine what's best for the Denver Broncos."
Marty Magid, Dumervil's agent, said he received the renegotiated document from the Broncos at 3:45 p.m. ET. He said he had Dumervil wait by a fax machine to receive the copy and then send it back.
Magid said he thought he got it back in proper time.
"I got it and just hit the button," he said.
Magid said he already has received calls from other teams interested in signing Dumervil.
Previously, Elway called Dumervil's contract "out of whack."
"It's not all about dollars. But when it's way out of whack? Then it's so out of whack that you've got to say: That [salary] can't be it," Elway said Thursday, according to the Denver Post. "Especially when you look at the market and what's out there now. Hopefully, he realizes that."
Dumervil signed a six-year, $61.5 million contract in 2010 when Josh McDaniels was coaching the team and before Elway joined the Denver front office.
Dumervil had 11 sacks last season, second on the team behind Von Miller. Dumervil led the league with 17 sacks in 2009.
Though the parties had agreed on a deal, the odds of Dumervil returning to Denver are hampered because cutting him could leave them with a salary cap hit of up to nearly $5 million.
The Broncos need more cap space while trying to shore up their interior defensive line, cornerback and running back positions. Peyton Manning will earn $20 million in 2013, and if the Broncos had Dumervil play at his previous salary, those two would have accounted for more than one-quarter of their cap space.
Among the pass-rushers on the market this season include Manning's former teammate with the Colts, Dwight Freeney.
Information from ESPN NFL senior writer John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.