On Friday, 49ers’ pass rush specialist Elvis Dumervil will turn 34. By NFL standards he’s close to being a senior citizen.
Yet in the 2017 season, Dumervil provided what the 49ers wanted from him. Playing only in pass-rush situations, the edge defender had 6½ sacks and was in on 13 tackles. While that’s a far cry from Dumervil’s glory seasons of the past – twice he’s had 17-sack seasons, including one in 2009 for Denver in which he led the NFL – he can still get to the quarterback.
Dumervil may not fit into the 49ers’ long-term plans. Certainly, San Francisco GM John Lynch will look for more pass-rush help in the draft or free agency, so Dumervil could have to battle to stay on the roster in 2018. But, Dumervil’s contract isn’t a yoke around the neck of the 49ers, who have plenty of room under the salary cap (at this point) for 2018. If he makes the roster, Dumervil will count $4.25 million against the cap.
As James Brady of SB Nation noted this week, Dumervil was very productive.
“Dumervil participated in 341 defensive snaps, or 30.31 percent of all defensive snaps the 49ers took this season,” wrote Brady. “In 16 games played, he had 13 tackles and 6.5 sacks. His tackle numbers weren’t high by any means, but they weren’t supposed to be. He had one job: get after the quarterback.”
Dumervil led the 49ers in sacks. DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas (three each) were the only other defenders with more than two sacks.
Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was happy with Dumervil’s contributions in his first year with the team. Saleh seems fine with bringing him back in 2018. He said it was “awesome” to have him.
“He still has enough in the tank,” said Saleh late in the season. “He’s missed two sacks where he had them in his hands and he had one called back because of a penalty. … He’s been producing. With leads you’ll get even more opportunity for him to get out there so he can produce even more.”