The Denver Broncos placed their franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons for the second straight season. This news comes on the heels of the two parties failing to come up with a long term deal.
The franchise tag for Simmons will count for a fully guaranteed $13.73 million against the cap in 2021. While that is no small chunk of change, $13.73M would rank Simmons as the sixth highest-paid safety in the NFL behind Arizona's Budda Baker, Chicago's Eddie Jackson, Tennessee's Kevin Byard, Kansas City's Tyrann Mathieu, and Washington's Landon Collins.
According to multiple reports, Simmons and the Broncos will continue to work towards a long term deal throughout the offseason.
Denver clearly views Simmons in high regard. In a pre-draft press conference, Denver Broncos GM George Paton gushed about his fifth year safety.
“Justin is one of our core guys," Paton said. "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.”
Simmons has been a key contributor on Denver's defense. Over the past three seasons he has averaged 95 tackles a season, and has become a vocal leader both on the field and off. Earlier this season he was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his work in the community. He also was named second team All-Pro for his play on the field.
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