When the Denver Broncos placed their franchise tag on Justin Simmons, the goal was to get him signed to a long-term deal this offseason. On Monday, John Elway revealed that those negotiations are continuing and an offer made with a counteroffer also submitted.
“As far as Justin, we’re in negotiations right now,” Elway said. “We’ve given them an offer. They gave us an offer back. We’re in active negotiations with Justin.”
This is all just part of the process as both sides realize that the franchise tag was merely a way for both sides to have the time to work through these negotiations.
“Anytime that’s it’s been used, long-term deals have been done,” Simmons said at the end of the season. “Either way I’ve looked at it, it’s a blessing either way. In my opinion, if a team wants you, you’ll be here. It’ll be a blessing either way.”
Currently, Simmons counts against the Broncos salary cap for $11.4 million. According to Spotrac, his actual average annual market value is north of $14 million. They expect his contract to look something like a five-year deal for $72 million.
With that much money involved, it makes sense to take as much time as needed to work out every detail. They have until July 15th to agree to terms on a multi-year extension, otherwise Simmons will have to play the 2020 season under the tag.
Elway has mentioned often since the end of the season how much the team wants Simmons back long-term.
“We want him back,” Elway said during his end-of-year press conference. “You know the options there. Before we came down, I talked to Justin and said, ‘You know what, we want you back.’ He’s a great football player, but he’s a better man. What he does outside of this building and what’s done in Denver has been tremendous. Just the type of guys he is. These are the type of guys that we want on this football team. Obviously, we have the franchise option there, but we’d like to get something done with Justin for the long term.”
A deal will get done and the two sides are already well under way in those negotiations. It’s just a matter of when.