Derek Wolfe was a popular figure in Denver.
He spent time in local communities, was an ideal teammate and won over fans with his toughness.
So, there was much disappointment in the Mile High City when the defensive end decided to sign a one-year deal with the Ravens worth up to $6 million with incentives.
Wolfe is now looking to play an integral role on the Baltimore defense that could be among the best in the NFL.
"It's a chance to compete for a Super Bowl," Wolfe told Denver7 News. "They have a great defense. I spent eight years here. Denver is always going to be home. This is where I am going to raise my family. My wife loved living here. I will always be a part of the Broncos one way or the other. I have no hard feelings. I get it. It's a business. The Broncos have to do what's best for the Broncos."
Just days after a deal for Michael Brockers fell apart, the Ravens quickly moved to sign the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Wolfe, who will provide a physical presence. The deal with Wolfe reportedly includes $3 million in guaranteed money, with $3 million in incentives.
Wolfe, a second-round pick by the Broncos in 2012, battled some injuries, but has made plays when healthy. He missed four games last season because of a dislocated elbow, but still managed a career-high seven sacks, breaking the previous high of six that he set his rookie year.
Wolfe has also played an entire 16-game season just twice (2012 and 2014) over his eight-year NFL career. He had 299 tackles, 33 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble over eight years in Denver.
"It is a make-good deal, but I feel like I have plenty of good football left," he said. "I am coming off one of my best seasons. I was on pace for 10-plus sacks. That's my goal to get that every year," Wolfe said. "It's going to be weird (not seeing Von Miller and other teammates). And it will be weird being in a different locker room. But, I am super stoked."
Wolfe is the second key addition for the Ravens on the defensive line, which had an NFL-low four sacks last season.
The Ravens acquired Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell from Jacksonville for a 2020 fifth-round pick at the opening of free agency. The trio of Wolfe, Campbell and Brandon Williams should provide Baltimore with a stronger interior presence, which was one the goals of the offseason.