More moves to come following Broncos' release of Justin Simmons

Are the Denver Broncos finally entering a rebuild mode?

Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills
Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos started off their Thursday morning moving on from eight-year veteran and All-Pro safety Justin Simmons via release. The move certainly caught a ton of people by surprise but according to the recent trend in the NFL, this was a transaction that was only inevitable.

Simmons, 30, was entering the final year of his contract in Denver and was not worth the base salary he was scheduled to receive, according to head coach Sean Payton. Simmons joins seven recently released star safeties around the NFL including Eddie Jackson, Kevin Byard, Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Rayshawn Jenkins, and Jordan Poyer. The value around the league regarding the safety position has noticeably decreased over the last four weeks and is seemingly joining the running back position.

While most fans are frustrated the team was not able to reach a trade to move on from Simmons, rather than an outright release, Denver did make an effort to garner trade interest but nothing ever materialized. This is because NFL teams no longer value the market of safeties as highly as they once did. On the bright side, however, the Broncos will have a wide pool of free agent safeties to choose from who will likely cost less than half the price of Simmons' previous contract.

But what's next following the release of Justin Simmons? According to Broncos insider Mike Klis, Denver still has roughly $40M more of cap space to relieve in order to account for their incoming free agent class, draft class, and to get under the cap limit. Broncos Country could be in for a day or two of roster 'housecleaning' similar to what the Buffalo Bills accomplished on Wednesday.

Veterans with rather expensive contracts like NT D.J. Jones, WR Courtland Sutton, T Garett Bolles, WR Tim Patrick, and WR Jerry Jeudy should be considered safe whatsoever. In terms of 2024 cap space, the Broncos currently obtain the fourth-most expensive wide receiver unit in the entire NFL as they are currently investing $52.2M in that group. Therefore, it's almost certain that at least one or two of Patrick, Sutton, and Jeudy will be gone within the next few weeks or even days.


While quarterback is the majority of the blame, Denver's receiving unit has been very lackluster for consecutive years now following the departures of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. My guess is that Sutton will negotiate a reconstructed contract and Patrick will be released. There is truly no telling what will happen with Jeudy, however, it would not surprise me in the slightest if he is moved closer to the NFL Draft for a fourth-round pick.

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