OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Defensive end Derek Wolfe announced his retirement on Friday after a decade in the NFL.
Wolfe, 32, decided to quit the game just over a month after reaching an injury settlement with the Baltimore Ravens. He was waived by Baltimore on June 14, a day after revealing on social media that he had undergone his second hip surgery of the year. Wolfe missed all of last season with hip and back injuries.
“After 10 seasons in the NFL, I decided it was time to step away from the game,” Wolfe said in a published video on the Denver Broncos Twitter account. “Time for a fresh start.”
“I’m just super grateful, very emotional, I’m happy to be done with the game because you know the injuries just kept piling up and piling up,” Wolfe said Friday, during his appearance at the Broncos training camp.
Drafted in the second round of the 2012 Draft by the Broncos, Wolfe was known for his determination, recording 350 tackles and 34 sacks during his career. But he struggled to stay healthy, playing in all of his team’s regular season games only three times in his career.
Wolfe spent his first eight seasons with the Broncos before joining the Ravens in 2020. Baltimore re-signed Wolfe to a three-year, $12 million contract (including a $5.4 million signing bonus) in March 2021, but he never played a match after that. .
Wolfe received a loud ovation from the crowd at Broncos training camp as he walked along the field before practice began. Broncos first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett asked Wolfe to speak to the team briefly after practice was over.
Wolfe, who has often reflected on a tough road to the NFL and a time in his college life when he said he only had $7, was asked on Friday if he would have believed when he would have played a decade in the league.
“If you had offered me this contract when I was 21, I would have accepted it in the blink of an eye, no questions asked,” Wolfe said. “…In my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined myself in this position. .”
Information from ESPN’s Jeff Legwold was used in this report.