Ravens Agree to Sign Veteran AFC Pass Rusher in Free Agency

Derek Wolfe

Getty Derek Wolfe before a game in Denver.

The Baltimore Ravens had the rug pulled out from under them with the news that Michael Brockers would be signing back with the Los Angeles Rams on Friday, and they wasted little time getting another player into the mix.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Ravens reached an agreement with free agent defensive end Derek Wolfe on a $6 million dollar contract for one season. Wolfe comes to Baltimore after spending the first part of his career with the Denver Broncos where he was a pass rushing defensive end.

In his career, the 30 year old Wolfe has collected 33 sacks, 299 tackles and 15 passes defended. He won Super Bowl 50 with Denver, and was a former second round pick of the Broncos out of Cincinnati in 2012. The last few seasons have been injury riddled for Wolfe, and he will try to get back to health next season.

With the Ravens, Wolfe will be counted on to add some depth and pass rushing punch up front.

Ravens Biggest Remaining Need Named

Recently, CBS Sports analyst Pete Prisco took a look at picking out some of the biggest needs for the team, and when it came to the Ravens, defense still rules the day no matter how much building the team has done on that side of the ball.

Here’s a look at what he wrote:

“They got by last season with guys they picked up from other teams after C.J. Mosley signed with the Jets. They have to get a young run-and-chase linebacker to play behind that powerful front they’ve built with the additions of Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers. Drafting late in the first round, they could have a shot at Kenneth Murray of Oklahoma or Patrick Queen of LSU.”

Obviously, the Ravens could sign another player such as linebacker Clay Matthews, but the draft does figure to be the best way they could upgrade the position. It’s felt as if the Ravens would go linebacker in the draft, and that might only remain the case now with the fact that the team continues to beef up the line.

Pro Football Focus Grades Ravens Offseason

Recently, writer Anthony Treash put together an analysis of how every team did in free agency. According to him, the haul of the Ravens is above average to this point, and is solid, especially on defense where the heaviest lifting has been done.

Here’s what Treash wrote:

“The fact that Baltimore traded only a fifth-round pick for the second-most valuable defensive lineman over the past four seasons in Calais Campbell is pretty remarkable. Yes, he’s going to turn 34 years old before the season starts, but the man is a game-wrecker compared to his counterparts. Campbell has produced a PFF overall grade that has ranked sixth or better among all defensive linemen in each of the past four seasons. He has plenty of gas in the tank.

Michael Brockers has been a solid run defender throughout his career but a pretty subpar pass-rusher playing alongside the league’s most dominant interior defensive lineman in Aaron Donald. In his eight-year career, Brockers has never cracked the top 40 in pass-rush grade. As for tagging Matthew Judon, it’s a good move if the Ravens trade him away. Judon had a career year like Dante Fowler Jr. above but saw most of his production handed to him, as he owned the highest rate of cleanup/unblocked pressures.”

Will signing Wolfe mean a Judon trade is imminent? For now, the Ravens will be content to maintain what is one of the better defensive lines in football as they ponder their next moves.

Ravens Credited For Offseason Defense Moves

Another Pro Football Focus contributor Gordon McGuinness recently tweeted about the approach the Ravens have with Eric DeCosta building his team, and lauded the fact that Baltimore seems to be building around players who are solid and stout on the back end and know the team’s scheme incredibly well. As he says, that’s how a defense should be constructed.

The Ravens recently re-signed Jimmy Smith, which was a huge move in order to keep a group together which has been very solid. That’s in addition to what they already have on the roster and what they will get back in 2020.

Now, Wolfe will join this mix for 2020.

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