How to lose $8 million in 6 minutes

Last-minute negotiating, a slow fax machine and a tight deadline caused Elvis Dumervil and his agent to drop the ball on Friday.

By Kim Peterson Mar 18, 2013 1:14PM
Elvis Dumervil of the Denver Broncos during a game against the Detroit Lions on October 30, 2011 in Denver, Colo. ( Joe Robbins/Getty Images)Six lousy minutes. That's all it took for defensive end Elvis Dumervil to lose his place on the Denver Broncos and an $8 million salary.

Now Dumervil's future is in doubt, his agent has been fired and people are wondering again why the fax machine still has a place in the business world.

Here's what happened: Dumervil agreed to a restructured contract with the Broncos that would pay him $8 million for the upcoming football season. That was down from $12 million.

Dumervil's agent, Marty Magid, said he didn't get the final paperwork from the Broncos until 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday -- just 30 minutes before the league's deadline to fax the new contract.

That left a mad scramble to get Dumervil to a fax machine -- a Kinko's in Miami, according to reports. The first fax number Dumervil tried wasn't working, so the Broncos gave him a second fax number, Magid told USA Today. Dumervil finally sent the fax at 3:55 p.m. ET -- five minutes before the deadline.

But the fax didn't come through to the Broncos until 4:06 p.m. Too late. The Broncos had already formally released Dumervil and ended all contract negotiations.

The Broncos have a different story, saying that Dumervil declined the $8 million offer and changed his mind with just 35 minutes to go before the deadline. Dumervil just cut it too close and missed his window.

Dumervil has fired his agent and is now looking for a new team. There isn't a lot of free money left out there to pay him with at this point, although the Broncos and other teams are reportedly interested in getting something done.

Plenty of lessons here for Dumervil and his former agent. And why is the NFL relying on the fax machine in this age of high-speed communication? Grantland's Bill Barnwell rants eloquently on the subject:
Can it be time to move on from fax machines already, NFL? It's incredible that a sport worth so many billions of dollars is incapable of employing some Web-based solution to allow players and teams to process these sorts of things in moments as opposed to minutes. It's 2013! PDFs are a thing!

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50Comments
Mar 18, 2013 2:38PM
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when we stop paying athletes outragous salaries and start paying scientists and mathmatcians, physicists and

others who are far more valuable then maybe our kids won't be so hung up on friday night football and they

will go to school to learn..this is a lot of nonsense

Mar 18, 2013 3:08PM
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Let me ask:  Wasn't the deadline well known to the parties involved?  Weren't there days or weeks or months to finalize a new contract?  If important ($8M worth), then couldn't you be >>right there<< to sign if it went down?
Mar 18, 2013 4:15PM
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You can try to blame the fax machine, but the real problem is that Dumervil and his agent were tardy -- who the hell waits until minutes before a deadline when $8 million is involved.... only really stupid people.
Mar 18, 2013 4:28PM
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I don't think there is an athelete in the world (in any sport) that is worth more than $400,000 a year. A scientist with a doctorate at the top of his field wouldn't expect to make that kind of money. No wonder it costs $100 for a seat at a major league game and 10 bucks for a cup of beer.
Mar 18, 2013 3:58PM
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Don't feel too bad Elvis.... The Federal Gov can pizz more than that away in 1-1/2 minute (6.85 mil per minute)
Mar 18, 2013 7:13PM
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Hummmm, How to loose 8 million dollars in six minutes......? give it to congress.
Mar 18, 2013 5:14PM
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Pay em' $120,000 and put the rest towards finding a cure for Cancer!

 

Mar 18, 2013 7:37PM
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i agree with robby6123. athletes salaries are ridiculous. most of the people in the US working for minimum wage work longer hours and work harder than 99% of the athletes. i enjoy sports as well as the next guy, but i will sit at home and watch before i pay $100 plus a ticket to watch it live in person.
Mar 18, 2013 6:05PM
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Like Ben Carson said in one of his speeches : Take away education and it will be easier to conquer a nation ! Well look what gets cut all the time and look at where we stand in line for education ?
Mar 18, 2013 3:26PM
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Hello Fax--Echo e signatures ?  Ever heard of these?

Mar 18, 2013 3:58PM
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Booooooring.........kinda makes ya laugh at him...tooo bad.
Mar 18, 2013 4:52PM
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6 million , thats nothing   we all lost 6 trillion the day obama was elected  ....  who cares about this guy really?? we have much bigger issues in the usa that some fool playing ball

Mar 18, 2013 5:53PM
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Elvis's money has left the building......
Mar 18, 2013 2:54PM
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I have been told that fax machines are a more secure way to transmit information than emails.
Mar 18, 2013 8:53PM
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Faxes don't take 11 minutes to go anywhere unless you are faxing to Mars!
Mar 18, 2013 6:12PM
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procrastination... gets us everytime.
Mar 18, 2013 4:04PM
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Hey MSN, ask anyone who has had their identity stolen why fax machines are still used.  Any one of the 6 you interviewed last week for your scare tactics article will be able to educate you.
Mar 18, 2013 4:45PM
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I'd claim a head injury from playing for the Broncos....
Mar 18, 2013 4:29PM
Mar 19, 2013 9:35AM
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Only in America can a Millionaire be too stupid to know about Adobes Signature Software. Maybe I should get into the Sports agent business?
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