ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Elvis Dumervil's route to riches was somewhat unconventional by today's NFL standards for superstars. He didn't posture, wasn't petulant or pouty. He didn't rip his coaches or the front office, hold out of minicamps or ask for a trade.
Coming off an NFL-leading and team-record 17 sacks last season, Dumervil signed his restricted free agent tender and continued working out with the Denver Broncos during the off-season while his agent and general manager exchanged figures.
The former Louisville standout hit pay dirt with a $61.5 million extension through 2015 that includes $43.168 million in guarantees, a record for a player at his pass-rushing position.
His agent and his coach both suggested Dumervil's payday wasn't just about his pass-rushing prowess but also came about because of his patience and professionalism.
Dumervil said he was raised with a strong work ethic, and he praised the advice he got from family members and his agent.
"And so at the end of the day, I knew my value and there was no need to go out and pout or go out, you know, the way other guys may have handled things because I know that character is No. 1 for me and I knew if I could bring the stats along with that it gave me a good chance," Dumervil said.
Coach Josh McDaniels, who has shipped Pro Bowlers Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall out of town — where they got big extensions from their new teams — said the humble, hardworking Dumervil is the kind of player a team can be built around.
"The way he has handled this lengthy negotiation this off-season is a great example of the type of player and person we want on our team," McDaniels said.
Dumervil thrived last season in the Broncos' new defensive alignment that turned him from a classic 4-3 defensive end in a three-point stance into a stand-up outside linebacker in the 3-4. He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and was named All-Pro, burnishing his credentials for a contract extension.
The Broncos could have put off a deal with Dumervil because the league might shut down in 2011 without a new labor accord, and they could have slapped the franchise tag on him after that, effectively keeping him away from unfettered free agency.
Instead, they rewarded him with the biggest deal since Champ Bailey's six-year, $63 million contract in 2005.
Tomlin gets extension
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Coach Mike Tomlin to a two-year contract extension through the 2012 season, with an option year in 2013. Tomlin is only the Steelers' third coach since 1969, following Chuck Noll (1969-91) and Bill Cowher (1992-2006).
Tomlin is 31-17 in three seasons, with two division titles, an AFC championship and a Super Bowl victory.
Browns sign McCoy
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns signed quarterback Colt McCoy and offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao to multi-year contracts, the team announced. Both were third-round selections in April's draft. McCoy won 45 games in 53 career starts at Texas (2006-09) to become the winningest quarterback in NCAA history.
Cowboys' picks all signed
SAN ANTONIO — Inside linebacker Sean Lee, a second-round pick, followed the lead of wide receiver Dez Bryant a day earlier and agreed to a four-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys on Friday worth $3.5 million, with $1.7 million guaranteed.
The Cowboys are the lone team to have all draft choices under contract. Bryant, Lee and Tampa Bay defensive lineman Brian Price are the only players taken among the top 60 picks league-wide to have signed.
Dolphins sign Douglas
MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins moved quickly to find a replacement for injured defensive end Phillip Merling.
Free agent Marques Douglas agreed to terms on a $2.5 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said Friday.
Douglas shores up a position depleted when Merling recently suffered an Achilles' tendon injury that will force him to miss the entire season.
Douglas started 12 games for the New York Jets' top-ranked defense last year and had 36 tackles and 28 assists.