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Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil's decision to sign his restricted free-agent tender last month and work with his team this offseason has led to one of the richest contracts in Broncos history.
Dumervil and the Broncos agreed to a contract extension Thursday, the team announced. Terms weren't disclosed, but according to multiple sources, the six-year deal was worth $61.5 million and includes between $41 million and $43 million in guarantees.
"Money is not everything, and that's the way I was brought up," Dumervil told The Denver Post on Thursday night. "It's nice when you get it, don't get me wrong, but I was always taught that you get what you put into it. And as long as you conduct yourself as such, good things will happen for you."
The last player the Broncos committed that much money to was cornerback Champ Bailey, who is entering the final season of his six-year, $63 million contract that will pay him $13 million in 2010.
"I am pleased to announce the extension of Elvis Dumervil's contract with the Denver Broncos," general manager Brian Xanders said in a statement. "He has established himself as one of the NFL's premier pass-rushers, and he's an important part of the foundation we are building with this team. We are excited to have him as an integral part of the Broncos well into the future."
Dumervil's decision to sign his one-year, $3.168 million restricted tender last month and not withhold his services this offseason provided the goodwill that led to the Broncos giving him this deal.
"We are thrilled to have agreed to terms with Elvis Dumervil on a contract extension," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said in a statement. "Elvis is a very talented player who will help lead our defense and is also an outstanding person and teammate. The way he has handled this lengthy negotiation this offseason is a great example of the type of player and person we want on our team. We look forward to Elvis' impact for many years to come."
Dumervil will receive between $41 million and $43 million during the first four years of his contract, according to the sources.
Dumervil was the Broncos' fourth-round pick in 2006 after gaining a reputation at Louisville of being a top pass-rusher. As a rookie, he established that same reputation in the NFL, registering 8½ sacks.He had 26 sacks in his first three NFL seasons, but last year presented a challenge as the Broncos moved to a 3-4 defense, making Dumervil a linebacker for the first time in his career.
Dumervil responded with his best season, with 17 sacks and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
"I'm very thankful and very appreciative," Dumervil said, according to the Denver newspaper. "I'm appreciative of the fans for being supportive, the Broncos, Coach McDaniels, Pat Bowlen himself for stepping up and getting this done in a difficult situation of the unknown for next year."
Only two players have more sacks than Dumervil's 43 since entering the league -- the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware (56½) and the Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen (52).
Both of them have cashed in with big contracts that contain large guarantees -- $40 million for Ware and $31 million for Allen.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.