The Ravens are clearing more salary cap space.
The respect between Dumervil and the Ravens was definitely mutual.
“Elvis Dumervil has been a leader for us on and off the field,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He has made a positive impression on our franchise, and we have been fortunate to have him as a Raven. We respect his professionalism and the way he plays the game, in addition to his extensive charitable efforts that have greatly impacted our Baltimore community and his parents’ native country of Haiti.”
Dumervil, 33, was heading into the final season of a five-year, $26 million contract he originally signed in 2013. He was scheduled to have an $8.4 million cap hit this year, per Spotrac, but cutting him will reportedly save $6 million in cap room ahead of free agency opening Thursday at 4 p.m.
The move gives the Ravens more flexibility to spend money to retain their own players or bring in new acquisitions over the next few days of free agency. The Ravens are also open to bringing Dumervil back depending on the interest he garners on the open market.
"We have not closed the door on the possibility of him returning in the future,” Newsome said.
Dumervil is coming off a frustrating season in which he played in just eight games because of a nagging Achilles problem that has bothered him the last two years. He finished with just nine tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
The 11-year veteran has been one of the league’s best pass rushers over the course of his career, and he notched 35.5 sacks in his four seasons with the Ravens. Dumervil led the Ravens in sacks in 2014 (17) and 2015 (six), and went to two Pro Bowls during his time in Baltimore.
Dumervil’s departure accentuates Baltimore’s need to add pass rushers this offseason. Terrell Suggs, 34, is going into his 14th season, and the Ravens could look to use a high draft pick on an outside linebacker to pair alongside him this year.
Baltimore also still has young pass rushers in Za’Darius Smith, Matthew Judon and Kamalei Correa.