Broncos executive VP of football operations John Elway: "We’d like to have Elvis back."
Broncos executive VP of football operations John Elway: "We'd like to have Elvis back." (Denver Post file)

PHOENIX — There is a way for the Broncos to temper one of the greatest transaction debacles in NFL history into a less severe lesson on the fickle nature of fax machines.

Re-sign Elvis Dumervil.

The Broncos have taken a step toward putting their fax fiasco behind them by continuing their pursuit of Dumervil, a defensive end who recorded 20½ sacks the past two seasons.

"We've offered Elvis a contract," John Elway, the Broncos' head of football operations, said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "We'd like to have Elvis back."

Elvis Dumervil, celebrating after sacking Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers during a "Monday Night Football" game in San Diego last season, is
Elvis Dumervil, celebrating after sacking Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers during a "Monday Night Football" game in San Diego last season, is looking for work after being released by the Broncos. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post)

Elway would not get into details about the team's new proposal, but the expectation was it would be three years in length for considerably less than the $30 million value of his original contract. The Broncos released Dumervil to free agency Friday after the signature page on a revised contract didn't get faxed to the NFL office in time to meet a 2 p.m. deadline.

There are other teams interested in Dumervil, including the Baltimore Ravens and possibly the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons, so it might be a while before the Broncos get a resolution.

Another possible conflict is Dumervil's new agent, Tom Condon, who also represents pass-rushing defensive end Dwight Freeney, who is included in the Broncos' backup plans. John Abraham is another pass-rushing possibility if the Broncos can't work out a deal with Dumervil.

The league meetings Tuesday started with the AFC coaches breakfast, during which the Broncos' John Fox addressed the media. Among the topics Fox covered:

• The Broncos signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to become their new starting right cornerback because they had a "No. 1" grade on him. Yet, Rodgers-Cromartie is joining his third team in four years.

"You turn on a 60-play tape and 30 of the plays he does you can't coach," Fox said. "And 30 of those plays you're maybe not so happy with. And that's probably why he's on his third team. But at the end of the day he's got the skill set. We really like him. We were very upfront with him. He understands."

• The signing of Wes Welker means veteran slot receiver Brandon Stokley won't be returning. It might also mean that "receiver" tight end Jacob Tamme will have to compete for his roster spot during the offseason. Besides increasing the role of a slot man, the Broncos are hoping third-year tight ends Julius Thomas and Virgil Green can earn more playing time this season.

"Julius Thomas got hurt and everybody moves ahead," Fox said. "And towards the end (of the regular season), even though he was having great practices, as a coach it's hard to get him in uniform. But there's a young guy who is going to be a good player."

• One player whose job does not seem to be in jeopardy — although he'll have to compete like everyone else — is starting safety Rahim Moore. The 70-yard, game-tying touchdown pass thrown by Baltimore's Joe Flacco with 31 seconds remaining in the Broncos' double-overtime playoff loss was largely blamed on Moore.

"That was a devastating play," Fox said. "That was a bad play for everybody involved, whether it's defensive coaches, the head coach, all our great fans that were sitting in that stadium, our players. The thing with Rahim is he made great progress from Year 1 to Year 2. I mean, outstanding."

• On quarterback Peyton Manning, who overcame a season-ending neck injury to guide the Broncos to 11 consecutive victories and a No. 1 AFC playoff seed: "I think he'll be better. I think we'll be better as a football team."

Mike Klis: 303-954-1055, mklis@denverpost.com or twitter.com/mikeklis