According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Denver Broncos have placed the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons. This will keep him with the team for at least one more season. Rapoport continues by saying that the two-sides will continue working towards a long-term deal.
The #Broncos are franchise tagging S Justin Simmons today, source said. The two will keep working toward a long-term deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2021
Yesterday, newly hired General Manager George Paton met with the media and was asked about Justin Simmons pending free agency. He told the media that he(Simmons) was one of the team's “core guys” and that the goal since he was hired by the Broncos was to re-sign him to a long-term deal.
“Justin is one of our core guys. Our goal since I got here is to sign him to a long-term deal. We have had discussions with his agent. I don’t know if we’ll get a deal done or not, but that’s our goal. He’s the type of guy we want to extend.”
This franchise tag allows the two-sides to discuss a long-term deal throughout the offseason and hopefully agreeing to one sooner rather than later. It does seem like that’s the likely end result between the two-sides.
The franchise tag the Broncos placed on Simmons is worth $13.7 million dollars which leaves their current salary cap at around $30 million dollars.
Since joining the Broncos, Simmons has become one of the better safeties in the NFL and really burst on to the scene the past two seasons under defensive mastermind and Head Coach Vic Fangio. The safety role is an important one in Fangio’s defense so it makes sense that they wouldn’t let a player at Simmons level walk freely into free agency. Also, what Simmons does off the field is more impactful than what he does on the field. So, the Broncos are keeping a good one here.