There will be no holdout for safety Justin Simmons in 2020. He intends to formally sign his franchise tender with the Denver Broncos this weekend.
Broncos’ safety Justin Simmons officially has accepted his franchise tender and is expected to sign it this weekend, per sources. It’s just a formality now.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 10, 2020
Four franchise players now have not signed their tender: Yannick Ngakoue, Shaq Barrett, Chris Jones and AJ Green.
While this doesn’t preclude the team and Simmons getting a deal done before the July 15th deadline, it likely signals that the two sides are not close to a deal at this time. Simmons will play out 2020 on his $11.441 million franchise tag and, hopefully, it will mean a long-term deal can be worked out next offseason.
If Simmons doesn’t sign a long-term deal by the deadline, it will be the first time during John Elway’s tenure that he wasn’t able to get a deal in place by the deadline on a player he uses the franchise tag on. The previous four - Matt Prater, Ryan Clady, Demaryius Thomas, and Von Miller - all signed new long-term deals the year they were tagged.
Broncos safety Justin Simmons informed Broncos earlier this week, he will sign $11.441 million franchise tag tender, per source. Although Simmons has till Wednesday to reach long-term deal, new economy across league may make it very difficult. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 10, 2020
It is highly likely that the uncertainty around COVID-19 is at play here. With the salary cap status an huge unknown for executives, putting down a long-term deal in place is a huge risk. Maybe not as huge as committing half a billion dollars to a player, but its still a roster-building risk that Elway seems unwilling to take with Justin Simmons. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a long-term deal in the future, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.
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