Last week the news came out that Denver hired a new VP of Football Administration, essentially someone to be their cap guru and lead negotiator after they moved on from Mike Sullivan, who was previously in the role.
Rich Hurtado spent some time in football administration with the Eagles, from ‘05 - ‘08, but has spent the last 11 years of his career working on the player side as an agent and executive for Creative Artists Agency.
While with CAA, Rich was a part of negotiating deals for Aaron Donald, Deandre Hopkins, and Fletcher Cox. He also interacted with Denver several times, representing Aqib Talib during his free agency in 2014, Demaryius Thomas big extension in 2015, and Emmanuel Sanders’ extension in 2016, according to DenverBroncos.com.
Rich’s former agency also boasts several big name current clients like Dak Prescott, Tony Romo, and Broncos safety Justin Simmons.
Said former agent and current CBS Sports salary cap expert @corryjoel: "(Eddie Jackson's deal) is what I’m looking at if I’m Simmons, and Hurtado knows what he was going to be asking for, so it’s just one of the most unique situations that I can recall."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) February 4, 2020
KOA Insider, Brandon Krisztal joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright on Broncos Country Tonight and touched on this topic, as he was able to catch up with Simmons at the Super Bowl and briefly discuss Simmons’ familiarity with the Broncos new negotiator.
According to Krisztal, Hurtado’s counterpart, Tom France, was Simmons’ rep officially, but Hurtado often handled many of the day-to-day interactions with Simmons so they have a good relationship.
What will make things interesting is Simmons and Hurtado have obviously discussed his value and what he could potentially get in a new contract, etc. While that may provide at least a common starting point for the two when they sit down this offseason, it could also work against Denver if they attempt to start low, because Simmons has already been told by Denver’s lead negotiator what he should get.
Overall, I think it helps more than hurts Denver that there’s already an established relationship, and it sounds like both sides are excited to move forward and get a deal done.
Simmons also alluded to being ok with playing on the franchise tag if it came to that, so I’m confident he’ll remain in Denver and something will get worked out, even if they can’t come to immediate terms on a longterm contract.
Denver’s MO in these situations has been to utilize the franchise tag with then the intention of securing a longterm deal, and it played out that way with both Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas.
Justin Simmons was on KOA today and basically said that if the Broncos franchise tag him (~ $11.5-$12.7M for safeties), he'd be open to playing on the tag.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) January 29, 2020
Gives him a chance to make a ton of . Could get tagged a second time in 2021, or sign a long-term deal as a UFA. pic.twitter.com/kqAXbMtvPU
Check out Brandon Krisztal’s full interview with the guys above, and stay tuned as the Simmons talk will surely ramp up in the coming weeks.
Do you think Simmons negotiating with his former agent helps Denver?
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