Justin Simmons gets a second franchise tag from the Broncos

Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The good news is, Justin Simmons will be a member of the Denver Broncos in 2021.

The not-as-good news is that Simmons has received a second consecutive franchise tag.

Benjamin Allbright dropped some news on Twitter that Simmons was receiving the franchise tag, which other NFL and local reporters then followed up to confirm.

The Broncos and GM George Paton also confirmed that Simmons was getting the tag on Twitter.

It is truly fantastic that Simmons will be back (officially) though that was never really in question.

George Paton confirmed at his pre-free agency press conference that Simmons would be back and that the team’s goal is to keep Simmons in Denver for the long-term.

Simmons turned 27 last November and has become one of the best safeties in the NFL through his first five seasons as a third-round draft choice out of Boston College.

Simmons had a career-high five interceptions in the 2020 season and has really blossomed in two years under head coach Vic Fangio and his defense. He has 16 career interceptions and 37 career passes broken up.

The impact that Simmons has made to the Denver Broncos goes far beyond his on-field contributions. He’s been a major part of the Denver community and has been named the Broncos’ Walter Payton Man of the Year award nominee in consecutive years.

Justin Simmons’ value to the Broncos is tremendous, and getting him re-signed to a long-term contract is essential. If Simmons — a mid-round draft choice who earned his playing time and starting role early on, became an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection and has been a champion off the field — can’t get a long-term contract, what chance do other in-house players have?

This guy has done everything right, including playing every snap for the team defensively for literally three straight seasons.

As George Paton put it, the tag for Simmons is “procedural” and hopefully they can still reach a long-term deal before free agency starts on March 17.