April 24, 2013

The NFL Catches Up to Modern Times

By - Brad Heerschop

This year's free agent frenzy in the NFL has not been without its share of drama.

In case you missed it, the Denver Broncos encountered a hiccough during their negotiations with Pro Bowl linebacker, Elvis Dumervil. After weeks of talk, the two sides reached an agreement to reduce his pay from $12 million per season to $8 million per. Dumervil was to fax (that's right, fax) his new contract to the team by 3:59 PM EST on March 15th.

Photo by: Getty Images
The fax was sent by his agent, Marty Magid, but was not received by the Broncos until 4:06 PM EST, a mere 7 minutes past the designated deadline.

Regardless of how close it was, the mishap forced the Broncos to release one of their premier players. If not, the original contract would have superseded the new one, and they would have owed Dumervil his base salary of $12 million. This would have set the team up for a $13.6 million cap hit this season.

Needless to say, Dumervil sent Magid packing the very next day, but it gets better. On March 24th, the former Louisville Cardinal standout signed with the Baltimore Ravens, the same team that eliminated Denver from the postseason.

All of this because of a fax.

It absolutely amazes me that a prestigious league such as the NFL has any use whatsoever for an antiquated piece of technology. Undoubtedly the first thought children around the world had upon hearing this story was, "What is a fax machine?"

So why am I bringing up the "Great Colorado Fax Debacle" more than a month after the fact? On Tuesday, the National Football League Players Association agreed to a deal with DocuSign, an electronic-signature company, which will give players the ability to sign a contract by simply pressing a few buttons on their mobile phones.

I say, it's about time. The NFL already uses DocuSign for things like player marketing deals and agent verification forms. It goes without saying that nothing a player will ever sign is more important than their own contract, and if the technology was there to begin with, it should have been available to the players long before this week.

No matter now. The world's most profitable sports league has finally caught up to modern times. Never again will people have to worry that their multi-million dollar contract was held up due to something as primitive as a fax.

This my friends, is the start of the future.


  1. It's amazing that it took the league THIS LONG to get caught up to speed with this. Should've been done years ago. Better late than never I guess. lol

  2. Does ANYONE still use fax machines? lol