Derek Wolfe signs one-day deal to retire as Denver Bronco

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Derek Wolfe will happily spend his time chasing after his 3-year-old daughter instead of NFL quarterbacks.

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The 32-year-old defensive tackle retired on Friday, saying a hip injury that required second surgery last month made it too difficult to get through an 11th year in the league.

Wolfe, who was released by Baltimore in June with an injury settlement, signed a one-day deal with the Broncos so he could retire to Denver, where he spent eight seasons and won a Super Bowl after being chosen in the second round of the draft. out of Cincinnati in 2012.

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« I’m glad I’m done with the game because (the injuries) were piling up and I know my wife is very happy that she doesn’t have to watch me crawl into the shower every morning, » Wolfe said.

« It was starting to get bad, so it was time to call it ‘a career,’ Wolfe added. “I’m going to be a father; I become a husband. I can focus on these things now. … My daughter, she just turned 3 and I can play with her and spend time with her.

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Wolfe lamented all the family time he missed after signing with the Ravens two years ago. He suffered a hip injury last August and missed the entire season.

« I can savor the times I wasn’t there, especially the last two years I was in Baltimore during COVID, your family can’t be there, it was hard, I missed a lot of time “, Wolfe said. « So, I’ll make up for that now. »

Wolfe said he appreciated the Broncos bringing him back to say goodbye.

« I’ve had a lot of good times here, » he said, « I’ve played a lot of good football, won a lot of games, won a Super Bowl. »

Wolfe played in 122 games in nine seasons, starting all but six, and he had 350 tackles, 81 quarterback hits and 34 sacks. He added 28 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks in seven playoff games, including five with the Broncos.

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Wolfe was able to speak to the team after practice Friday, breaking up the huddle.

« I miss doing that stuff, just being with the guys, » he said. “It’s the only thing I miss. I don’t miss the physical nature of the game. I miss being with the guys and being able to talk to them, impart knowledge to the guys.

What he told them on Friday, he said, was to seize the opportunity now that they’ve finally resolved their quarterbacking dilemma that kept them out of the playoffs for six years.

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« I said to them, ‘Listen, you’ve finally found the piece we’ve been missing, and that’s Russell Wilson,' » Wolfe said. “I said, ‘Follow his example. He knows what he’s doing.

Wolfe also urged players to « enjoy every day » and not « take anything for granted here ».

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« In training camp, it’s easy to be complacent because you’re just like, ‘Man, this sucks. it’s hot. My body hurts me. My feet hurt. My shoes are soggy, ‘all these different things you can complain about,’ Wolfe said.

« And looking back, the things I was complaining about, it wasn’t really a big deal. Being healthy is a blessing.

After a strong rookie season, Wolfe was injured in a preseason game in Seattle in 2013 and was paralyzed for three hours. He returned to action just two weeks later but suffered a seizure while on the team bus to the airport at the end of the season and then missed the Broncos’ run at Super Bowl 48 where Russell and the Seahawks beat them.

He went on to play seven more seasons and helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 over Carolina two years after the grab he says nearly killed him.

« This whole season, being able to be a part of something like that was really special, » Wolfe said. « All the plays that were made and all the games that we should have lost but won because we were playing stronger than the other team. I can’t really think of a moment that tops that.

Wolfe said he would like to spend more time with the retired Broncos, mentoring defensive linemen, but what he really wants to do is use his gossipy gift as a member of the media to cover the game that gave him so much.

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