Denver Broncos officially franchise tag Justin Simmons

Denver Broncos safety #31 Justin Simmons. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos safety #31 Justin Simmons. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Justin Simmons is a core piece for the Denver Broncos and the team officially announced they placed the franchise tag on the young safety.

Justin Simmons is a foundation piece of the Denver Broncos.

There were was no chance the young safety and former third-round pick out of Boston College would test free agency. Simmons was either going to get the franchise tag or an extension would be reached. Today, the Broncos placed the franchise tag on Simmons.

This doesn’t mean he will only play for the team in 2020. There is still a strong sense the team will come to terms with a long-term extension, and in fact, John Elway reiterated that is the team’s goal.

Simmons has been vocal about playing on the franchise tag over the course of the past month or two. He also understands the Broncos view him in their future plans.

Simmons has grown to become a valuable player of the secondary. He replaced TJ Ward in 2017 full-time, but it was not until the hiring of head coach Vic Fangio that Simmons blossomed into the player he is today. He’s an intellectual player on the back end who understands his role every moment of the game. Of course, the strongest selling point of his fit here is his tremendous athleticism.

All throughout the season, questions were raised about the foundation being created by Vic Fangio. Simmons is a big believer in what Fangio is creating. He knows it takes players to buy-in.

When uncertainty loomed regarding this off-season, Simmons’ commitment never wavered. He believes in the power of continuity and he wanted to be a part of what Fangio is building even in the infancy stages. Simmons is a tremendous presence in the locker room and Denver community, and he is a constant source of joy and honesty. He says what is on his heart and what he believes.

Listed at 6-foot-3, the Broncos safety leaps on your TV with eye-popping plays. Whether it is blocking field goals or intercepting passes by high pointing a football, Simmons has become a field general.

Under Fangio, Simmons showed his athleticism by playing center field as a single-high safety sometimes. That position allows him to use his God-given abilities to his advantage. He can scan the quarterback’s eyes, read, and react appropriately. Simmons’ potential is through the roof and it is possible Fangio has not had a player as physically gifted as the Broncos’ safety.

Former Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson jumped onto the scene with Fangio and has become a top safety in the NFL. Simmons is in the same boat. However, the measurements and pure athletic talent Simmons might have edge over Jackson.

Simmons is a pure quarterback on the defensive side of the ball. He also is the consummate professional off the field. Simmons was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee by the Denver Broncos and NFL.

The NFL gives players a fantastic opportunity to showcase their talent, but also a huge platform to do good. It’s special when players give back. For Simmons, he is about saving souls and winning Super Bowls. Winning a Super Bowl would be special for Simmons, but changing a person’s life is the real prize. If Pat Bowlen could construct the perfect player that exemplifies what it means to be a Denver Bronco, Simmons would be on that list.

Next. 2020 Broncos free agency wish list. dark

This is one of the reasons Simmons is here to stay. The Denver Broncos locked up a cornerstone piece for their future.