Elvis Dumervil was introduced as the newest member of the Baltimore Ravens' defense on Tuesday and said while he's always played with a chip on his shoulder, he may have a "brick wall" there now after being asked to take a pay cut by the Denver Broncos before being released after a paperwork mixup.
Dumervil passed his physical Tuesday and signed his five-year contract with the Ravens, which he agreed to Sunday. A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the contract could be worth as much as $35 million, if incentives are reached. He will be paid $8.5 million in the first year of the deal.
The base value of the deal is $26 million, including a $7.5 signing bonus for 2013. The contract has a $3.5 million option bonus in 2014.
Over the first three years of the contract, Dumervil will receive $17 million from Baltimore. The team has him for cap numbers of $2.5 million and $3.375 million in the first two years of the deal.
"I think at times in life you deal with people who say you can't do this or you shouldn't do that. In this world, you have to prove a point and prove yourself. I'm all about that. Year in, year out, that's what drives me. I like to go in as a rookie every year, where you have to prove yourself. I have a chip on my shoulder, I may have a brick wall now. I'm so excited. I can't wait to get out with the guys and really compete," Dumervil said.
He will wear No. 58 with the Ravens, which he wore in college when he played for Louisville.
He was joined at the news conference by Ravens coach John Harbaugh and inside linebackers coach Don Martindale, who coached Dumervil with the Broncos when he was the team's defensive coordinator.
Dumervil said a sense of "friendship and family" helped him to decide to sign with the Ravens. He also said he liked that Harbaugh stressed "the team, the team, the team."
Getting a chance to join the reigning Super Bowl champions didn't hurt, either.
"I want hardware myself, so I'm a little envious right now," said Dumervil, whose Broncos were eliminated in the playoffs by the Ravens.
"Elvis Dumervil is our kind of guy. He fits us," Harbaugh said.
The coach said that as soon as Dumervil was released by Denver, "we knew right away that Elvis would be a perfect fit if we could make it happen."
"I don't want to say we feared him, but we certainly respected him as a football player. This is the kind of player you have to game plan around. We're excited to have him as a part of the organization," Harbaugh said.
On March 15, Dumervil waffled but finally agreed to reduce his 2013 salary from $12 million to $8 million in Denver as part of a renegotiated three-year, $30 million contract. But the paperwork didn't reach the NFL offices in time and the Broncos were forced to release him to avoid having to pay him the full $12 million for next season.
Dumervil fired agent Marty Magid after that deadline debacle and hired agent Tom Condon.
The Broncos issued a new contract proposal to Dumervil and his new agent, but the Ravens swooped in and beat Denver for the second time this year -- they also upset the AFC's top-seeded Broncos 38-35 in double-overtime in January on their way to winning the Super Bowl.
Dumervil said Tuesday he had no hard feelings or ill will for the Broncos.
"It was an unfortunate situation that happened. Obviously leaving a really good organization like the Denver Broncos, they're proven winners, I have nothing but good things to say about the organization," he said.
"But when an opportunity came that I could come to another winner and a first-class organization, it was just leaving one great one to another great one. So I took it. ... Sometimes, you have to make a tough decision. I just felt like it was time to change the scenery."
Dumervil collected 63½ sacks in seven seasons in Denver, three of which ended with Pro Bowl berths.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.