|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!