Look at it this way, Broncos fans: Dwight Freeney has 44 more sacks than Elvis Dumervil.
And so it goes with life in the NFL. You win some. You lose some. Maybe you lose a few more to the Baltimore Ravens than you'd like.
But you move on to the next guy.
Dumervil no longer is a Broncos defensive end, as he had been since he was a fourth-round pick in the 2006 draft. Hurtled to free agency by the strangest of circumstances, Dumervil decided Sunday to accept a five-year contract from the Ravens rather than re-sign with Denver.
"I know business is business, but this is the part of business that (stinks)," said Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson. "I congratulate Elvis. At the same time, those are big shoes to fill coming off the edge. Elvis is my guy. It's time for other guys to set up. Robert Ayers, Malik Jackson. It's time for No. 91. Robert Ayers is going to have a big year."
Ayers may well become the Broncos' right defensive end on running downs, but they will try to sign Freeney, a former Indianapolis Colts star and Peyton Manning teammate. Manning, now the Broncos' starting quarterback, turned 37 on Sunday.
Losing Dumervil to the Ravens may not have been among Manning's birthday wishes, but Freeney could be a nice consolation gift. Dumervil, 29, is four years younger than Freeney. And in the past two seasons, Dumervil has been more productive, making 20½ sacks to Freeney's 13½ sacks in that period. But Freeney was a Dumervil-like pass rusher long before the NFL heard of Dumervil.
Freeney has 107½ sacks in his 11 pro seasons. Dumervil had 63 ½ sacks in his seven Denver seasons. Freeney also figures to get less than the three-year, $18 million offer the Broncos presented to Dumervil last week. The Broncos' proposal included $8 million in salary and signing bonus for the 2013 season and $2 million in guarantees in the second year of the deal.