For the second offseason in a row, the Denver Broncos have franchise tagged free safety Justin Simmons. They are planning to extend him with a long-term deal at a later date.
Pro Bowl free safety Justin Simmons is not going anywhere, as the Denver Broncos have franchise tagged him for a second offseason in a row. They are hopeful they can orchestrate a long-term deal here soon.
Simmons is coming off his first Pro Bowl season in the NFL. He was a former third-round pick out of Boston College by the Broncos in the 2016 NFL Draft. Simmons was tagged ahead of last season, earning $11.441 million for the 2020 campaign. While it feels like the Broncos are giving Simmons a bit of the Kirk Cousins treatment, he has time to secure a long-term deal with Denver.
The Broncos want Justin Simmons to be part of their long-term plans defensively
Simmons will be entering his age-28 season with the Broncos in 2021. This will be year six for him out of Boston College. While paying top dollar for a safety is not typically the best course of action against a hard salary cap, Simmons has been one of the better players on this defense for half a decade. While Denver has not made the playoffs since 2015, the Broncos do value him as a player.
Overall, the Broncos are entering a critical season as a franchise. It is important for quarterback Drew Lock and head coach Vic Fangio to succeed in their roles to get this proud AFC West team back into the postseason. Denver may play in the same division as the Kansas City Chiefs, but if everything goes according to plan, the Broncos can compete for one of three AFC wild card spots.
Despite using the franchise tag again, the Broncos clearly do not want Simmons to leave Denver.