Denver Broncos: Justin Simmons signs the franchise tag

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 young safety officially signed the franchise tag.

The young safety from Boston College is a foundation piece of the Denver Broncos. There was no chance Justin Simmons would test free agency.

Simmons was either going to receive the franchise tag or an extension would be signed. On Friday (July 10), Simmons decided the franchise tag is the best course of action right now with hopes still set on an extension.

Simmons has been vocal about playing on the franchise tag over the course of the last handful of months. Simmons has grown to become a valuable player in 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.

The safety is a smart, intellectual player on the back end that understands key moments during games. Of course, the strongest selling point of his fit here is his elite 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.

At that time uncertainty loomed regarding this offseason, but Simmons’ commitment never wavered. It falls on continuity and he wanted to be a part of it even then. Ever since Simmons stepped onto a football field and when he appeared in front of media, he has given honest answers. He says what is on his heart and what he believes.

Listed at 6’3″, the Broncos safety leaps on your television with eye-popping plays. Whether it is blocking field goals or intercepting a pass right out of Amari Cooper’s hands 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.

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 physically gifted as the Broncos’ safety.

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

Simmons is a 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 for them to showcase their talent. What makes the NFL special is when players give back. For Simmons, he is about saving souls and winning Super Bowls. Winning Super Bowls 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.

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This is one of the reasons Simmons is here to stay. The Denver Broncos now turn to locking up their safety long-term.