NFLPA signs deal with electronic-signature company
Dear incoming NFL rookie: Worried your $8 million contract might
get held up by a balky fax machine?
Worry no more.
The NFL Players Association announced a deal Tuesday with an
electronic-signature company that will give players being drafted
this week, along with their current NFL brethren, access to
technology that makes signing a contract as easy as hitting a few
buttons on their cellphone.
The well-timed deal between the NFLPA and DocuSign comes two
days before the draft and with memories of the Denver Broncos-Elvis
Dumervil fax fiasco still fresh on everyone’s mind.
Last month, the Broncos and their defensive end were unable to
seal the deal on a restructured contract because Dumervil couldn’t
get the signed paperwork back to the team in time via fax.
This arrangement will help prevent a repeat of that Dumervilian
disaster, the NFLPA said.
”With the amount of travel our players do, DocuSign adds value
by enabling them to sign anything, anywhere,” said George Atallah,
spokesman for the NFLPA.
The Broncos-Dumervil deal was scuttled in part because the three
parties – team, player and agent – were in three cities and on a
tight deadline to complete the deal.
Denver needed the paperwork into the NFL by 1:59 p.m. on March
15 or the team would have owed Dumervil $12 million instead of the
$8 million the parties had agreed to in the restructured deal.
Dumervil had reportedly found a fax machine at a Fed Ex Kinkos
in the Miami area and was dealing with the contract there. But with
the deadline approaching and no paperwork showing up on its fax,
the Broncos had no choice but to release Dumervil.
As a free agent, the defensive end looked at similar offers from
the Broncos and Ravens and elected to head to Baltimore.
”At the end of the day there was no ill will or hard
feelings,” Dumervil said when he signed. ”I just felt it was a
time to change scenery.”
Broncos Executive Vice President John Elway said he regretted
losing Dumervil, who has 63 1/2 sacks over six seasons with
”If there’s anything I would take back it’s the fact that if
there’s a deadline, there’s a deadline,” Elway said. ”There’s a
reason why there’s a deadline, because you can’t get everything
done fast enough. It’s an unfortunate situation, but that won’t
When asked why the parties were using a fax machine – relatively
antiquated equipment given today’s technology, to say nothing of
the amount of money on the line, Elway replied: ”I’m not going to
get into that.”
The NFLPA already uses DocuSign in a number of areas, including
player marketing deals and agent verification forms.
Now, it will bring the technology to the most important thing a
player signs – his contract.