The Denver Broncos could save nearly $15 million on their 2024 cap space if they traded Justin Simmons. Could they ship him to an elite NFC team? I do think Denver needs to make the move to trade Simmons. He turns 31 years old during the 2024 NFL season, is entering the last year of his contract with the team, and brings cap savings and a bit of trade value to the team.
Also, what are the odds that the Broncos would even re-sign Simmons next offseason anyway? At some point, the two sides should seek a fresh start, and that should be this coming offseason. Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report recently proposed Justin Simmons being traded to the Detroit Lions, a team that utterly dominated the Denver Broncos this year.
"Yeah, this one isn't as glitzy as the rest. But when you consider how close the Detroit Lions got to the Super Bowl in 2023, a deal for a game-changing defender could be the type of move that puts the team over the top in 2024.- Brad Gagnon
Veteran safety Justin Simmons fits that profile and addresses a need for a defense that has plenty of room to improve after ranking 13th in DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) in 2023, per FTN.
Simmons is on the wrong side of 30, and a Denver Broncos team that simply hasn't been competitive can save $14.5 million by moving on ahead of a walk year for the two-time Pro Bowler, per Spotrac.
Here, they can send him out of the conference to a team that could get more bang for its buck with him as a contender in 2024."
Also, consider that Lions head coach Dan Campbell is from the Sean Payton coaching tree, so there is an obvious connection. Furthermore, the Lions' defensive coordinator, Aaron Glenn, coached with Sean Payton in New Orleans. There's a lot to suggest that the Broncos and Lions could do some business this coming offseason.
The Denver Broncos could steal a free agent from the Lions, a former Sean Payton draft pick. CJ Gardner-Johnson is a versatile defensive back who primarily plays safety, and would be a cheaper and very good free agent addition for the Broncos. Payton and the Saints drafted him back in 2019, so I do think trading Simmons and signing Gardner-Johnson would make a ton of sense for the team as they likely head toward fielding a younger and more explosive team.
The Denver Broncos would definitely be doing right by Justin Simmons to trade him to a legitimate contender like the Lions, and their secondary could certainly use the help.