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Broncos sign defensive end Derek Wolfe to a four-year contract extension

Wolfe is staying in Denver

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos announced that they have signed defensive end Derek Wolfe to a four-year contract extension today. Wolfe is getting $36.75 million dollars over four years. That works out to be about 9 million dollars per year.

According to 9NEWS Denver's Mike Klis, Wolfe is getting $12 million full guarantee in signing bonus and salary for the 2016 season. Another $5.5 million becomes guaranteed to Wolfe in 2017. Also, Wolfe earns a $31,250 bonus for each game he is active on the 46-man game-day roster, or $500,000 a year if he plays in 16 games.

General Manager John Elway has a long list of important players to re-sign this offseason, and he made that list a little bit shorter today after extending Derek Wolfe today.

Derek Wolfe has earned every penny of his contract extension this season. Ever since he returned to the Denver Broncos after his four-game extension he has been an unstoppable force. His presence is a big reason why the Broncos run defense is as good as it is. He as also stepped up his pass rushing game during that stretch as well. Since week 11, Wolfe has totaled 5.5 sacks for the Broncos.

In 12 games played during the 2015 regular season, Wolfe finished the season ranked as the No. 4 overall player at his position (3-4 defensive end) according to Pro Football Focus. He trailed only unanimous first-team All-Pro J.J. Watt in Pro Football Focus’ run defense metrics while leading all Broncos defensive lineman with 49 tackles (35 solo).

Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway said Wolfe has developed into one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL and that he is excited to have Wolfe apart of the team for four more years.

"Derek is a very talented and hard-working player who has improved every season since we drafted him in 2012," Elway said. "This year, Derek’s developed into one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in football. We’re excited to reward one of our key emerging players and ensure that Derek is part of our team for many more seasons."

Wolfe credits his improvement to his game to defensive line coach Bill Kollar, the same coach who helped turn J.J. Watt into what he is today.

"Kollar has made me better in so many different aspects as far as hustle, using my hands more, getting my hips turned," Wolfe said in November. "I'm not going to give away all my secrets, but he's taught me a lot of different things. He's good at taking a guy, figuring out what he's good at and forcing him to do those things."

Wolfe is a former second round pick who has played in four NFL seasons and has totaled 140 tackles, 17 sacks, 4 passes defended, and one fumble recovery.

Congratulations to Derek Wolfe for earning this contract extension and I'm excited to see him play four more years with the Broncos.