As if Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons could have a higher value, the free agent safety was named a second-team All-Pro.
Justin Simmons’ free agent value and value to the Denver Broncos continue to go up, even with the team now finished with games for the 2019 season.
Simmons was recently named the Denver Broncos Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate, he’s coming off of the best season of his career, and he was primed for a contract somewhere at or above $14 million annually.
That value has increased with the recent news that Simmons was named second-team All-Pro after being snubbed for the 2020 Pro Bowl.
The All-Pro recognition is much more prestigious.
Simmons finished the 2019 season with 93 total tackles, 15 pass breakups, and four interceptions. He played exceptionally well in tandem with Kareem Jackson in Vic Fangio’s defense and seemed to make huge strides from where he was in 2018, even.
The Broncos selected Simmons in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he’s been their best player from that class by far.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think the Broncos drafted a better player than Simmons between the years of 2013-2017, and the jury is still out on 2018-19.
Simmons has truly been one of John Elway’s best draft picks as an executive, and he’s exemplified everything the Denver Broncos look for in a player.
Not only is he awesome at playing the game itself, Simmons understands his role off the field and in the community. That’s why he’s been recognized as the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate.
Between now and March, the Broncos will work to get a long-term deal done with Simmons. There are plenty of contracts out there setting the groundwork for that contract, including a number signed in the last calendar year.
- Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears: $14.6M AAV (average annual value)
- Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans: $14.1M AAV
- Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs: $14.0M AAV
- Landon Collins, Washington Redskins: $14.0M AAV
- Earl Thomas, Baltimore Ravens: $13.75M AAV
If the Broncos want to try and apply the franchise tag to Simmons, it will cost them the average of those five contracts. If they place the transition tag on him, it will probably be closer to $12 million.
Any long-term deal for Simmons is going to be at or above $14 million AAV, which is fair for a player of his age (26 next season) and caliber (2nd-team All-Pro, #1 ranked safety by Pro Football Focus).
The Broncos would be wise to get Simmons signed before another team resets the market by re-signing a star safety, which the Chicago Bears just did with Eddie Jackson.
There’s not much to think about here. The Broncos want Simmons back, Simmons wants to be back, and the Broncos have a ton of cap space.
Get this deal done ASAP.