5 safeties Broncos could target to replace Justin Simmons

What direction will the Denver Broncos go at safety after the Justin Simmons release?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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The Denver Broncos made the decision to cut eight-year veteran, team captain, Pro Bowler, and All-Pro safety Justin Simmons in order to help get salary cap compliant. The Broncos saved $14.5 million in salary cap space by releasing Justin Simmons, and although it was a shocker to see him released instead of traded, the Broncos needed to figure out a way to gain those salary cap savings one way or the other.

Unfortunately, the Broncos are moving on from Simmons, who has more interceptions (30) than any other player since he came into the league in 2016. Broncos Country would have loved to have seen Simmons get the chance to win in Denver, but it just didn't happen over eight years. Now, Simmons is moving on, and so are the Broncos.

But who could they sign to replace him? This year's free agent safety crop is absolutely loaded.

1. PJ Locke (Broncos free agent)

One of the first names to be on the lookout for is Broncos current unrestricted free agent PJ Locke. The Broncos have seen tremendous growth from Locke in recent years, especially last year as the got the chance to play extensively with Kareem Jackson oft-suspended.

In 12 games, Locke had 53 total tackles, 3 QB hits, 3.0 sacks, 2 fumbles forced, 5 passes defensed, an interception, and 2 tackles for loss. There's no doubt that Locke was productive when he was on the field, and the Broncos may see a guy who is just starting to really hit his stride as a pro.

It would be tough to stomach a full commitment to a youth movement at the position, because it's a commitment to the unknown, but there's a lot of talent between PJ Locke and Caden Sterns if both of those guys can stay healthy.

Perhaps the first move the Broncos will make toward reloading the safety position is bringing back PJ Locke.