Derek Wolfe set to hit free agent market (but he won’t help Chiefs)

Derek Wolfe #95(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Derek Wolfe #95(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Given the need for further defensive line help, it’s easy to understand why Kansas City Chiefs fan would be interested in any potential addition up front, especially if a player is a new name on the open market. However, in the case of Derek Wolfe, there are some major hurdles that will likely keep him from being a productive signing for any team—including the Chiefs.

On Tuesday, the Ravens announced that they’d reached an injury settlement with Wolfe, a move that would allow the team to release him. From there, Wolfe would be a free agent technically open to sign with any team, but it’s the injury part that keeps this from being an exciting piece of news for any fan base.

Wolfe, who is now 32 years old, missed the entirety of last season with a hip injury. It led to surgery and yet that didn’t take, which is why he then had a second hip surgery this year in the hopes of solving his injury issues. That means that he’s going to need considerable time just to get back to healthy after surgery and it casts a major shadow on his ability to return to the field with any predictable value.

The Kansas City Chiefs need defensive line help, but it’s not likely to come from veteran Derek Wolfe, who is set to hit free agency soon.

There was a long stretch of time in which Wolfe was a valuable defensive lineman, an above average interior player for teams like the Denver Broncos and Ravens. Wolfe had solid disruption skills while playing solid against the run, and if healthy, he’d likely have plenty of suitors in free agency.

That’s unfortunate for a team like the Chiefs who might be interested in upping the quality of competition along the defensive line. Chris Jones is one anchor with Derrick Nnadi also back again for another season. Turk Wharton and Khalen Saunders will also compete for reps with newcomer Taylor Stallworth, a one-year signing from the Indianapolis Colts.

While there’s a lot of time before camp, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Wolfe get better only to then announce his retirement. Even in his surgery video post on Twitter, he stated he was “looking forward to living a normal life.” It’s hard to imagine, then, that he’s going to be suiting up for anyone anytime soon.

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