Cross an impact free agent off the list, as Broncos plan to franchise tag S Justin Simmons again

Frank Schwab
·1 min read

The Denver Broncos continue to say they love safety Justin Simmons. They just can't get a long-term extension done. 

At least there's still the franchise tag. For the second straight season, the Broncos will use the franchise tag on Simmons and keep working on a long-term deal, according to multiple reports. 

That's big news for the Broncos, who don't want to lose a talented home-grown talent. 

Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons (31) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons (31) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Justin Simmons staying in Denver

Simmons got the franchise tag last season and kept the pressure on the Broncos by making a Pro Bowl. He's a fine all-around safety, one of the best in the game, and the Broncos weren't going to let him walk. 

Simmons was a third-round pick in 2016 and became a starter in his second season. He has been one of Denver's best defensive players since then. When Simmons' contract ran out last year, the Broncos gave him the franchise tag at $11.4 million. 

The Broncos couldn't get a long-term deal done, and Simmons had 96 tackles, five interceptions in 2020. The Broncos had little choice but to tag Simmons, who is just 27 years old, again. 

That takes a talent player off the free-agent market. Every year many teams will use the franchise tag on their best player, which is usually not what players want and weakens the free-agent pool but is good business. The Broncos are starting the offseason by retaining their top potential free agent. 

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