Broncos: Top 11 takeaways from George Paton’s pre-free agency presser

Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos safety #31 Justin Simmons. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

New Denver Broncos general manager George Paton addressed the media on Thursday along with head coach Vic Fangio, and while his press conference barely lasted 10 minutes, he gave the media and Broncos Country a lot to chew on.

Like a calm quarterback facing down an all-out blitz, Paton answered questions in a rapid-fire fashion clearly and succinctly. Although Paton is a first-year GM, it’s abundantly clear that he’s not a rookie on the job.

He’s adjusting to life leading an NFL franchise quite well it would seem, and he’s doing so while running a tight ship. It’s pretty amazing that with just five days before the franchise tag deadline and 11 days before the “legal tampering” period of free agency that virtually none of these questions have had concrete answers leaked to the media.

Let’s jump into the top 11 (yes, there were that many) significant takeaways from Paton’s pre-free agency press conference, along with some takeaways from what head coach Vic Fangio had to say.

1. The goal is to get Justin Simmons a long-term deal

In a recent interview with Sirius XM, Broncos safety Justin Simmons expressed that there is mutual interest in the Pro Bowler and All-Pro staying in Denver.

Although he wouldn’t guarantee a deal would get done, Paton claimed that the Broncos’ goal has been to get Simmons a long-term contract done.

At this point, everyone knows and understands that Justin Simmons is not leaving Denver in 2021, it’s just a matter of what will the circumstances regarding his contract be?

The Broncos can franchise tag him for less than $14 million, which is currently likely the baseline price of the safety market (on an average annual basis). Simmons is the type of player, based on his age and productivity, that would almost assuredly re-set the market if he were to actually hit it.

We’ll see what he and the Broncos eventually agree on, but right now, all of the signs being put out to the public indicate that a long-term deal is what both sides are motivated to do, and five day’s s from right now (March 9) is the deadline.