Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Derek Wolfe has to be waking up this morning feeling bad


during Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Ezra Shaw

When they’re preparing to negotiate a contract, players often have to balance short-term security against the potential for a bigger payoff if they’re willing to incur some risk.

So as Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson prepares to bathe in the reported six-year, $90 million deal with $42 million guaranteed with the Jaguars, one of the guys he left behind has to wonder why.

In January, the Broncos gave defensive end Derek Wolfe a four-year extension worth $36.75 million, with $17.5 million guaranteed.

That’s a pretty big difference, in case you’re not as good at math as I am.

Part of it comes from security, as Wolfe reportedly wanted a deal done before the playoffs started. But Jackson also took advantage of a bump in the salary cap, and a handful of teams with the need to spend big. With the Jaguars one of the teams needing to get to the CBA-mandated 89-percent cash spend floor, they were going to do a big deal with someone.

But, for lack of a better phrase, the Broncos took advantage of a guy who wanted to stay put.

“Last night I called my agents and the deal was already on the table and I said, ‘Look, let’s just take this deal,’” Wolfe said of the contract, at the time he signed, via the Denver Post. “‘I don’t want to leave. I love this city, I love the them, I love the organization, the coaches, my teammates and everything, so I couldn’t be happier. I’m in a place that I love to be, so why would I leave?”

And while there’s no reason to shed a tear for Wolfe — he’s still rich, lives in a beautiful city, and is a key part of the best defense in football — it’s hard not to wonder if he’s looking at today’s headlines and thinking “what might have been,” because what he might have been is much, much richer if he’d waited a few months.