Though both sides want to get a deal done, contract talks between safety Justin Simmons and the Broncos have yet to become serious, as Mike Klis of 9News.com reports. The franchise tag remains a possibility, and Simmons has indicated that he would be open to playing out the 2020 season under the tag.
Either way, he stands to make a handsome raise over the $2.025MM he pocketed in 2019, the final year of his rookie deal. The franchise tag is estimated to check in at $12.735MM, and Simmons would probably earn at least that much on a yearly basis if he and Denver can come to terms on a long-term pact.
Simmons and the Broncos engaged in extension talks before the 2019 season started, but the former third-round pick bet on himself and won. He notched a career-high four interceptions to go along with 15 passes defensed and 93 total tackles. He also provides the type of versatility that head coach Vic Fangio covets, which allowed him to play every single defensive snap for the second consecutive year.
Interestingly, Simmons’ former agent with Creative Artists Agency, Rich Hurtado, was recently hired by Broncos GM John Elway and was put in charge of the team’s salary cap and contract negotiations. So Hurtado, who advocated for Simmons in his earlier contract negotiations, is now on the opposite side of the table, but Simmons is not concerned. He expressed his excitement for Hurtado and reiterated his desire to stay in Denver for the foreseeable future.
“Obviously, we’d like to get a long-term deal done and speaking with Elway and all the guys there, they’re great and I love the system,” he said. “I think the system fits for both parties — for myself and for [Fangio].”
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