That big collective sigh you heard late Sunday came from Ravens Nation, which was in full-scale panic mode and exhausting the region's supply of Xanax until the news of Elvis Dumervil's deal came down.
What a heist Ozzie Newsome pulled off, something on the scale of "Ocean's 11," only without a casino involved.
Let's see, the Ravens get one of the best pass rushers in the league to replace Paul Kruger, who pulled off his own heist when he got the Cleveland Browns to pay him $40 million over five years.
Dumervil's better than Paul Kruger. He comes cheaper (five years, $35 million) than Kruger would have. And the Ravens take only a $2.5 million cap hit.
Is this some kind of early April Fool's joke?
Could it be any more perfect for the Ravens?
By the way, wonder how the Broncos are feeling about that little fax machine incident that caused them to lose Dumervil in the first place?
You heard about that, of course.
Dumervil was all set to re-sign with the Broncos, even agreeing to take a $4 million pay cut. And the only reason he hit free agency was because his agent screwed up getting the contract paperwork back to the Broncos in time to send it on to the league office.
This, of course, is how player agents become former player agents. Which is exactly what happened to one Martin Magid.
Magid, you'll be shocked to know, was immediately dumped by Dumervil and is now thought to be working at a Jiffy Lube at an undisclosed location.
Meanwhile, his house is now surrounded by Broncos fans wielding pitchforks and flaming torches, with the police standing by and saying: "Angry mob? What angry mob?"
"As we have from the start of this process, we worked diligently over the last week to find a way for Elvis Dumervil to remain a Denver Broncos," John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice-president of football operations, said in a statement. "Although we made multiple contract offers to Elvis after being forced to release him, we were unable to reach an agreement and are now moving forward without him."
Translation: Don't blame us because an idiot agent couldn't send a fax.
Another thing: why in God's name are the Broncos and a big-time agent like Magid still relying on fax machines?
In this era of smart phones and scanners and e-mail, isn't that like relying on homing pigeons to get a contract through? Or the Pony Express?
What, are they still using rotary phones in the Broncos' front office?
But that's Denver's problem now, a PR nightmare that will haunt Elway and the team for years.
As for the Ravens, again, the whole deal couldn't have worked out better.
No one could have foreseen a stud defensive end suddenly becoming available because of what was, for all intents and purposes, a clerical error. (Unless it was the janitor who pulled the plug on the fax machine.)
But when it happened, Ozzie Newsome rushed in and got the deal done for the Ravens, further burnishing his rep for being one of the smartest general managers around.
Now Dumervil gives the Ravens an excellent pass-rusher to bookend with Terrell Suggs, who has to be jacked about this move after his buddies Ray Lewis and Ed Reed flew the coop.
Dumervil will fit in perfectly in the Ravens' 3-4 defense, where he'll play like a linebacker and hopefully be the big-time sack machine he's been throughout his career.
He's not nearly as effective as a run stopper — we all know that. But the Ravens aren't sweating that right now, since they think adding defensive linemen Chris Canty and Marcus Spears and another year of experience for Courtney Upshaw will help in that regard.
Besides, they still have plenty of other things to sweat on defense, including holes the size of the Fort McHenry Tunnel at inside linebacker and free safety.
Here's another thing you have to wonder about now that a big star like Dumervil is about to become a Raven: with the NFL's love of story lines and the recent Orioles-Ravens scheduling snafu, will the Ravens open their season in Denver on Sept. 5?
In some ways, it's a no-brainer.
Think about it: the turn-coat Dumervil in purple and black instead of orange and blue. The Ravens back at the scene of the Miracle at Mile High. Joe Flacco's desperation 75-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones and the Ravens' thrilling 38-35 overtime win in last season's playoff still fresh in the minds of a national TV audience.
I'm getting chills just thinking about it.
Unless I'm coming down with something.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis show." Text TERPS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun Terps sports text alerts