While they never made an announcement, it wasn’t exactly a secret that the Baltimore Ravens were working on bringing in former first-round pick Michael Brockers of the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent to join their rebuilt defensive line. According to reports, they were rumored to have had terms drawn up of a three-year, $30 million deal.
But the contract ultimately fell through with the Ravens leery about the states of Brockers’ ankle, which he injured at the end of last season. The deal eventually went away, and Baltimore turned around and used part of that money to sign another defensive end, Derek Wolfe.
Another player of pedigree, he joins Calais Campbell as the new defensive ends of the line. Campbell was acquired via trade, and given a new two-year, $25 million contract. They pair with Brandon Williams in the middle, along with Jihad Ward, Justin Ellis, and Jaylon Ferguson as depth.
After Wolfe agreed to join this group, he called the decision “a no-brainer”, saying that “we’re going to have the best defensive line in the league, for sure”, and that they “can break records”. The 30-year old reportedly signed a one-year deal worth $3 million.
Meanwhile, the Ravens, who have now parted with Chris Wormley and Michael Pierce, are coming off of their worst season in franchise history in terms of run defense, having surrendered 4.4 yards on the ground per carry over the course of the year.
Wolfe also said that he believed he was about to be drafted by the Ravens back in 2012 when the Denver Broncos took him instead. He added that he wanted to request a trade on his own behalf, looking to go to the Ravens, but said that he wanted to remain loyal to his team.
When the news of the Brockers deal falling through hit him and his agent talked to him about joining Baltimore, he told local reporters that he immediately said yes. “I don’t care about the money at this point”, he said. “I just want to get on that team. I feel like I can come in there, prove myself, and they’ll extend me and I’ll be part of the organization for more than one year. That was my goal”.
According to Over the Cap, Wolfe has earned over $42 million over the course of his career, the bulk of it in the form of a four-year, $36.7 million contract that he signed with the Broncos in 2016. Now completed, he opted for the one-year deal in Baltimore with the hopes of showing that he can be a part of the organization for years.
Over 12 games in 2019, he registered 34 tackles with a career-high seven sacks. He has 299 tackles over the course of his career, with 33 sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble, the latter of which also came during the 2019 season. He has missed 20 games over the course of his career.