It’s not like Justin Simmons isn’t going to play for the Denver Broncos in 2020. He just won’t be signed to a longterm contract.
On the MHR Radio Podcast, Ian St. Clair and I discussed the news that Simmons and the Broncos were unlikely to get a deal done before the 2 pm deadline on July 15th. It was definitely not the uplifting news that we could all use right now, but it was not the end of the world either.
The #broncos think the world of Justin Simmons. They understand he’s the type of player you build around. They want him long term. Simmons wants to be in Denver long term. After the deadline tomorrow passes, The price to make all that happen could be higher than it is now.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) July 14, 2020
Simmons will sign his franchise tender, and play 2020 on a one year deal. Denver can franchise Simmons again in 2021 if need be, which gives the team even more time to get something done.
While that makes this news tolerable, it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the frustration of not having a deal done. Simmons is what we like to call a Pat Bowlen Bronco. Much like Champ Bailey, or Steve Atwater, Simmons is the type of player that can change a game on the field, and have a positive impact off the field.
Simmons was the Broncos Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate. He was a positive voice off the field during the protests that took place in Denver recently. He has struck a chord with the community, and all parties involved seem to be motivated to get a deal done.
So, we will have to wait. With the uncertainty of the 2020 season, it seems prudent of the Broncos to take a slower approach to this negotiation. Who knows what the season will look like? Who knows what the salary cap will be in 2021?
It isn’t ideal, but it certainly doesn’t mean the end of the Justin Simmons era in Denver. And hey, things can change quickly in the world of NFL contract negotiations.