No surprise here. On Tuesday, Broncos GM John Elway said that he’ll use the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons if he can’t reach a long-term pact with safety Justin Simmons (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter).
Simmons has already said that he’s expecting to be tagged, though he’s optimistic about the one-year cuff leading to a multi-year agreement. As our own Sam Robinson noted earlier this week, Elway has used the tag four times during his tenure in order to keep kicker Matt Prater (2012), tackle Ryan Clady (2013), wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (2015), and edge rusher Von Miller (2016). Every time, the Broncos were able to follow up and hammer out a longer contract.
The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus pegged Simmons as the second-best safety in the NFL last year. He’s still only 26 and he has a case to be paid as one of the top players at his position.
Last year, Simmons registered a career-high four interceptions to go along with 15 passes defensed and 93 total tackles. For his part, Simmons wants to stay put.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.