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Derek Wolfe says he doesn’t regret skipping free agency

Denver Broncos Media Availability

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe speaks to the media at the Broncos media availability at the Santa Clara Marriott on February 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Perhaps no player since Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown capitalized on Super Bowl success in free agency the way Malik Jackson did.

But that also made the deal Jackson’s former Broncos teammate signed before the playoffs look that much worse.

Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe said Wednesday he didn’t regret the four-year, $36.75 million contract he signed in January, just before the Broncos won a title and Jackson hit the jackpot with a six-year, $90 million deal in Jacksonville. Had he waited for free agency, Wolfe would have certainly made more money, but he said he wouldn’t have changed things.

“Absolutely not,” Wolfe said. “I did what I felt what was right. I’m happy for Malik. He deserves it. I’m where I wanted to be.

“You can’t put a price on happiness. I’m happy and that’s all that really matters.”

That kind of loyalty is admirable, at least until the Broncos decide they don’t feel the same way. But Wolfe sounds like he’s OK with that reality.

“I love the city, the fans,” he said in comments distributed by the team. “The people here are great. I couldn’t imagine playing in another city. I don’t really want to ever have to play in another city. I’ll probably just play here until I decided to just be done. That’s my plan. . . .

“To me, I have to prove my worth, prove that I was worth that much money. I have to go out there and prove to the fans, to the team, to the organization, to my teammates and to everybody that I’m worth that much money. To me, it puts a little bit more pressure on me actually.”

The real pressure might come when Wolfe is finished playing, since he’ll have far less in the bank than Jackson will, with a 24.5 million difference in guarantees in their deals ($17.5 million for Wolfe, $42 million for Jackson).