There is an old Chinese fable about a wise old farmer. One day, while tending his crops, he looked up and saw the most beautiful of horses eating grass on the edge of his field. Remarkably, the horse went gently into the stable.
The townspeople remarked, OH WHAT GOOD LUCK FOR YOU.
The old man smiled and said, good luck? Or is it bad luck? Who knows?
The next day, the son of the old man tried to saddle and ride the wild horse, and fell from it, breaking his arm. The horse ran from the barn, and the son would be hampered by the injury for up to a month.
Oh what bad luck, the townspeople cried.
Good luck, bad luck, who knows? was the old mans reply.
The next day, the horse returned, with three mares in tow, and the son, arm still healing, was not conscripted into the army due to the sudden attack by a neighboring tong.
What good luck! the townspeople cried...
The old man just smiled, and returned to tending his crops....
I personally couldn't believe it when i had heard what happened. We lost Elvis Dumervil to some fiasco of a fax in a Kinkos across the country. I couldn't believe it. There were fax jokes, finger pointing, and when all the dust had settled, Elvis had left the building.
I just couldn't believe the Broncos would let this happen.
Or was it?
Nature abhors a vacuum, and the place of Dumervil needed to be filled. Enter Shaun Phillips, six three, two fifty, thirty two years of age. (Elvis is five eleven, two sixty, age twenty nine.) Phillips was signed from the hated Chargers, a bonus, for a one year, one million dollar contract.
Elvis signed a five year, 35 million dollar contract, with 8.5 million in the first year with the Ravens.
So how do the two players match up at this point?
It surprised me to find out that Phillips is ranked fifth in the NFL in sacks (5.5 sacks) and his teammate Ayers is eighth in the league with (4.5 sacks).
Right now, we have two linebackers who, after five games, are in the top ten in sacks.
Dramatic pause inserted here.
By progression (a great way of saying im gonna multiply this number by three because three times five is fifteen, and that ALMOST a full season) Phillips is worth 16.5 sacks and Ayers is worth 13.5 sacks over the span of a full season.
In the Tackles For Loss stat, Phillips and Ayers are tied for 13th in the league (along with twelve other players who also have five tackles for loss... players such as Clay Mathews, Carlos Dansby, Jared Allen, Brian Orakpo)
A pretty damn good showing for both Ayers and Phillips this year. It could be argued that both Phillips and Ayers are top ten pass rushers in the NFL.
Now lets look at Dooms production this year...
Elvis ranks 24th in the NFL in sacks (3) since being FED EXed to Baltimore. That projects to nine sacks this year.
Elvis is tied for 27th in the NFL for tackles for loss (along with 19 others in the NFL, including our own Nate Irving) at four tackles for loss.
There isnt one stat that BOTH Ayers and Phillips are not beating Dumervil in this year. This year, Ayers is making around a million dollars for services rendered, and is a free agent in 2014. Add in the million Phillips is making, and you have TWO players whos production is higher than that of Dumervil, and you save six million dollars in cap space.
If you look at the production of Elvis as an indicator of how good a player he is, he isn't a top tier linebacker. Using that highly sophisticated math thingy, one could argue Doom is producing at a level that is in the mid twenties in the NFL... respectable but not jaw dropping.
What is jaw dropping is the production of Ayers and Phillips. Two top ten pass rushers BEFORE the introduction of Von Miller.
It is CLEAR that if playing opposite Von Miller can elevate a mid twenty linebacker to top ten.... as Elvis was considered after the 2011 campaign...
Then what will it do for two men who are ALREADY in the top ten in pass rushing?