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Derek Wolfe highlights key issue for John Elway in the offseason - keeping this defense together

Derek Wolfe spoke with Dave Logan on KOA and discussed how much these defensive players want to keep playing together.

Derek Wolfe joined the Logan & Lewis show on KOA on Monday and dropped some really good comments in a short six-minute interview talking about the Denver Broncos 27-23 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, as well as, his thoughts on the future of the defense.

The end of the interview is what stood out the most to me. Wolfe was asked about the way this defense has been playing and what they are going to do with so many defensive players in contract years. He noted some comments Von Miller made during a team dinner that Miller organized on Sunday night.

“We went to dinner last night, basically the whole team. Almost the whole team. We went to dinner when we got back. Von set it all up. Von’s doing a great job of being a leader. He’s trying to bring that energy every day to practice and just being a great leader.

“So he brought us all in there and we were like, ‘Look, we gotta keep this’ - because last week we had great energy in practice. We went in there really confident, thinking, ‘Look, we can play with anybody. There’s nobody in this league that we can’t compete with.’ So we went into that game thinking we were going to get a win, and to go up 20 points and then lose? It was just like, ‘Man.’

“We were all just sitting around talking, ‘Imagine if we could get another year together with this defense.’ But this is a business and not everybody can get paid. It’s just the way it goes. It’s the sad part of it because it takes time to build a team, and it takes time to build trust in the guys you’re playing next to. Once that’s developed, it makes it tough when you have to keep rotating guys in and out of there.”

Wolfe is right. The defense feels like it is on the cusp of something - similar to how that 2013 or early 2014 defense felt. Except, this time, we’ll see a ton of turnover instead of solidification.

Who here thinks John Elway will keep even half of these guys who have contracts coming up?

  • Chris Harris, Jr.
  • Derek Wolfe
  • Shelby Harris
  • Justin Simmons
  • Will Parks
  • Adam Gotsis

Edit: List modified to remove RFA’s and ERFA’s. I missed that designation when pulling the list.

And those are just guys who have been significant contributors on defense this year. The defense will suffer a massive setback unless Elway opens up his pocketbook - which is something he is unlikely to do.

At the very least, Elway needs to lock down Shelby Harris and Simmons. I’d even lobby for adding Wolfe in there somehow if only to keep the continuity along the front seven strong.

I just don’t know if he’ll even do that. Elway is more apt to sign a single guy of the group and lowball the rest to see who bites. If he does that, we should expect an exodus from the defensive unit and quite a regression on defense in 2020.

At the very minimum, who would you want the Broncos to re-sign from this group of defensive players?