The NFL offseason is in full swing. In roughly one week, the window opens on the Denver Broncos that can drive the workforce to determine on the way forward for Pro Bowl security Justin Simmons. Teams have from February 23 to March 9 to use the franchise tag to designated gamers.
Last season, Simmons performed below a franchise tag that paid him $11.four million in Denver. He’s by no means missed a snap for the Broncos since arriving as a third-round decide within the 2016 draft out of Boston College, showing in 74 video games with 64 begins.
Simmons is credited with 385 tackles (288 solo), 11 tackles for a loss, 37 go break-ups, and 16 interceptions over that span.
On Monday, The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran joined the Stokley and Zach present on 104.3 The FAN with visitor host Dan Jacobs the place the Broncos beat author was requested concerning the subsequent domino to fall for Denver this offseason.
“I believe the best factor on Justin Simmons goes to be to increase that tag for a second straight 12 months,” O’Halloran advised Jacobs. “That doesn’t imply he’s going to play on it. At least put him below your management and attempt to work out a long-term deal.”
If the Broncos have been to franchise tag Simmons for a second-straight 12 months, he’d earn $13.7M as a result of there are at present 5 NFL safeties averaging $14M contracts with their respective groups. The 27-year-old has been a pillar within the Denver neighborhood and locker room, but the query of his worth stays.
How will first-year GM George Paton worth Simmons?
In early February, we discovered that Paton made an introductory phone call to Simmons the place the 2 males exchanged compliments and left the encounter at that.
“George Paton, when he was with the Vikings, they solely tagged two guys: Anthony Harris final 12 months and Chad Greenway again in 2010. So not a variety of observe document to guess how he’s going to let it play out,” O’Halloran advised The FAN.
Last Summer, then-GM John Elway supplied Simmons a contract extension that may make him the sixth highest-paid security within the NFL. Instead, Simmons performed on the franchise tag, betting on himself in a season that earned him first-time Pro Bowl honors and a big enhance in compensation.
However, the Broncos are at present on the books with Simmons’ accomplice and fellow security Kareem Jackson for $11M in 2021. This signifies that Denver may probably be staring down the barrel of the league’s most costly security duo in a season the place the cap is projected to drop to between $180-$181M, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The NFL rumor mill is buzzing that Paton will seemingly franchise tag Simmons to keep away from dropping any compensation for the distinctive defensive again. A latest report by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora concludes that by tagging Simmons, the Broncos and participant can have till July 15 to succeed in a contract extension.
The two camps have been clearly not near reaching a deal final summer season. Now, Simmons is ready to be an unrestricted free agent in a few month as the brand new league 12 months begins on March 17.
The Broncos have been working below the optics that they not solely worth Simmons however envision him a lifelong member of the Orange and Blue. As the previous saying goes, money talks and ( what) walks.
Follow Luke on Twitter @LukePattersonLP.
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