Derek Wolfe signed a one-year contract with the Ravens, but he would welcome a much longer relationship.
After spending his first eight NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, Wolfe likes stability and believes he can find it with the Ravens. He loves the team's potential and has heard rave reviews about the organization. By playing lights-out next season, the veteran defensive end hopes to earn an extended stay in Baltimore.
"I really don't care about the money at this point," Wolfe said during a conference call. "That's the team I want to be on. I feel like if I can come in there and prove myself, that they'll extend me for a few years. I'm just going to stick to the plan and trust the process, hope that it all works for me."
Wolfe is coming off his most productive season with 34 tackles and a career-high seven sacks. However, a dislocated elbow in December ended his season after 12 games, making it the fourth time in eight seasons that he missed at least four games.
However, don't tell Wolfe he is injury prone. The dislocated elbow came on a freak play last season when he collided with a teammate. Many of his prior injury woes were related to a neck injury suffered in 2013, which caused nerve pain for years. Since having successful foraminotomy neck surgery in 2018, Wolfe has felt like a new man and wants to prove he's better than ever at age 30.
"It's been a bumpy road, but for the most part I've actually been pretty healthy," Wolfe said. "It was the same injury that was nagging and I finally got that surgery.
"Turn on the film from last year. That's all you really have to do. I'm still running at 16 miles per hour during the game. I'm still playing really strong at the point, able to take guys that are five or six years younger than me, put them on their back, put them into the quarterback's lap. I think I have a lot of football left."
Wolfe heard great things about the Ravens from Joe Flacco last year when the two were teammates in Denver. Former Ravens defensive end Elvis Dumervil also gave Wolfe a strong endorsement about Baltimore.
"I actually ate breakfast with Joe every morning," Wolfe said. "He always would tell me how great of an organization the Ravens were, what kind of place it was, that it was one big family. That's what I want to be a part of.
"Doom was like a mentor for me my rookie year, like a big brother to me. He's a very straightforward guy. If he doesn't like it, he's going to tell you. He had nothing but good things to say about the organization."
Joining a Ravens defensive line that will also include Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell makes Wolfe believe he's part of a potentially special group. He's looking forward to next season, not just as a one-year stop but the beginning of something special.
"We can have the best defensive line in the league for sure," Wolfe said. "We could break records, break the rushing record for (least) yards per rush. Those are the kind of goals that I like to set. Sometimes you don't reach them, but you can get close. That helps you win."