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Free agent DL Derek Wolfe to meet with Bengals

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The former UC Bearcat is interested in a return to Cincinnati.

Chicago Bears v Denver Broncos Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The highest-drafted Cincinnati Bearcat of the past 40 years isn’t one of the Kelce brothers, it isn’t Connor Barwin, and it isn’t Trent Cole.

Only six former Bearcats in NFL history were drafted higher than Derek Wolfe was in 2012, when he was taken by the Denver Broncos with the 36th overall selection. Eight years later, Wolfe has expressed interest in joining the professional team of his old college town.

Per NFL insider Benjamin Albright, the Cincinnati Bengals are set to host Wolfe for a visit when the free agency tampering period begins.

While it seems as if Wolfe and the Broncos are set to part ways this offseason, the career Wolfe has had in the Mile High city has been a commendable one. He reached his peak in the 2015 season when he received an 86.4 defensive grade from Pro Football Focus and was an integral part of the defense that carried Peyton Manning to his second Super Bowl victory.

Wolfe has been a solid starter since then, but he hasn’t achieved the same pass-rush productivity. He’s more of a run-stopper nowadays, which is still valuable for the Bengals. He’s accustomed to playing 3-technique in an odd front scheme with ample experience playing on the edge as well, which is exactly what the Bengals are looking for to round out their defensive line.

A modest two or three-year deal would be reasonable for a player like Wolfe, who just turned 30 not so long ago. That contract would be right up the Bengals’ wheelhouse if Wolfe is up for the role the Bengals have in mind for him.