Every time Elvis Dumervil slams an opposing quarterback to the ground, he must hear cash registers going off in his head. As former agent Joel Corry explains in a piece for the National Football Post, Dumervil is cashing in this season thanks to incentives in his contract and there could be more bonus bucks on the way.
Dumervil signed a five-year deal with the Ravens in 2013 with a base value of $26MM and $11MM in guarantees. However, the deal carried the potential worth of $35MM thanks to $9MM in base salary escalators and incentives. Much of that money was tied to contract mechanisms classified as “Not Likely To Be Earned (NLTBE)” – incentives with higher thresholds than his previous career highs. With the NLTBE classification, the Ravens were able to give Dumervil a satisfactory deal while keeping that extra money off the books in that league year.
Since Dumervil had 11 sacks with the Broncos in 2012, his NLTBE escalators or incentives required him to exceed that sack total. With two sacks against the Saints in Week 12, Dumervil triggered $3MM in base salary escalators and earned $1MM in incentives. As Corry outlines in full, there will be more opportunities to rake it in for the former Bronco thanks to four contract clauses. The value of the linebacker’s contract has increased to $30MM over five years. He can’t earn the maximum of $35MM because he didn’t have 12 sacks in 2013, but he can earn up to $33MM if he hits his thresholds again in 2015.
Still, as Corry rightly notes, triggering these incentives doesn’t fully ensure that Dumervil will collect on them. The incentives are rarely guaranteed, so Baltimore can still ask Dumervil to take a pay cut or release him without any financial obligation.