San Francisco’s newest pass rusher is closing in on the century mark, but he’s not ready to start the countdown clock on his time in professional football.
Elvis Dumervil, who officially signed with the 49ers on Thursday, is one sack away from 100 for his career. The former Broncos and Ravens edge rusher should eclipse that mark easily barring any injury — he’s recorded at least five QB takedowns in nine of his 10 seasons. But his latest output, a career-low three sacks in an injury-riddled 2016 campaign, suggests that he won’t be able to play far past the historic mark.
Dumervil has other plans.
“If it was a situation where I felt it was my last year, that’s all I have left, I just want to win the Super Bowl [because] I just got one year left on my body, I could have gone about it different,” Dumervil told CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “A lot of people are confused about where I’m at physically and mentally. … Mentally and physically, I feel great. I know I have a few years left, for sure.”
The 33-year-old chalks up his last two seasons, during which he recorded a combined nine sacks, a number he had eclipsed in four single seasons prior, not to aging or decreased ability, but to his struggles with a significant Achilles injury.
“Sometimes you don’t know if you’re hurt or injured,” Dumervil added. “It was a situation where I thought I was hurt. You play through hurt. But I was really injured.”
Finally healthy and surrounded by young talent, Dumervil will eye a late-stage renaissance in Santa Clara. The 49ers are right in the middle of a rebuild, but have promising if not dominant pieces in their front seven, including NaVorro Bowman, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and four former first-round picks (Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead). Led by first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, with whom Dumervil said he is “very impressed,” San Francisco has the making of a breakout unit on defense.
As Dumervil said, he could’ve sought out a Super Bowl contender in free agency and chased the ring that has for 10 seasons eluded him. Instead, Dumervil claims he has found the right fit in San Francisco, where he and the team can rebuild together, for at least a few more years.