Fallout From Negotiations Between Broncos, Justin Simmons

Talented Broncos safety Justin Simmons will play out the 2020 season under the franchise tag, as player and team were unable to come to terms on an extension prior to Wednesday’s deadline. Simmons was not alone in that regard, as only two of the league’s franchised players this year ended up signing long-term deals.

As Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Denver put forth what it believed to be a competitive offer, a proposal that would have made Simmons one of the top five or six highest-paid safeties in the game. Currently, the Ravens’ Earl Thomas is the fifth-highest-paid safety in terms of AAV ($13.75MM), but the sixth-highest, the Patriots’ Devin McCourty, has an AAV of $11.5MM. Simmons’ franchise tender will pay him just shy of $11.5MM this year, so it could be that a long-term pact featuring a similar yearly average was not appealing to him.

Of course, it’s unclear how much the Broncos were offering in terms of guaranteed money, but Simmons was shooting for a top-of-the-market deal that would have paid him an average of roughly $15MM per year with around $30MM in guarantees. It does not sound like Denver was prepared to go that high, particularly in light of the current financial uncertainty.

Interestingly, negotiations between the two sides were always described as tension-free. Simmons said earlier this year that he was content to play on the tag, and when a deal was not reached by the deadline, Klis noted that Simmons and the Broncos “amicably agreed to disagree.”

But Simmons certainly seems annoyed that the did not get the deal he was hoping for. “If the Broncos wanted to get a deal done, they would’ve,” he said on today’s episode of Good Morning Football (link via Kevin Patra of NFL.com). “And so the reality is another year on the franchise tag is like a contract year all over again.”

The 26-year-old defender said he should be even better in his second year in head coach Vic Fangio‘s defensive scheme, and if he is, he will surely bring home a top-dollar deal in 2021. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 overall safety last season and led all safeties with 15 passes defensed. He also intercepted a career-high four passes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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15 comments on “Fallout From Negotiations Between Broncos, Justin Simmons

  1. Ak185

    I’m not sure what Simmons was expecting, given that it’s only been one year of that level of play. It was a good year, and from it sounds like, the Broncos must have offered around $12 million a year.

    I suppose he is betting on being even better this year and driving his price up higher, or offering proof that it should be what it is. That’s fine, but he shouldn’t be annoyed by that. Simmons had the option of taking the Broncos’ offer, which sounds pretty good for one year of high level, full time production. If he wants more, yes, he’ll have to prove that it wasn’t just one year. I get why Simmons wouldn’t want to repeat the contract year experience, but again, he chose to ask for more than what the Broncos offered. That’s fine, it’s his call, but he has to expect teams to want to see more to give more. It’s risky for him as a player, but if he does it, he’ll get what he wants.

    • wagner13

      Excellent analysis. The key difference between Simmons and Anthony Harris is that Harris has put forth consecutive elite seasons. Simmons has always been a solid defensiveback, but this season could’ve been a flash in the pan. If so, I don’t blame Denver for exercising caution when they’re already paying Kareem Jackson $11 million/season

  2. bradthebluefish

    In regards to the last post: the team formerly known as the Redskins should pay reputations of at least $1.5 million to all the victims. That’s $100K each.

    • bradthebluefish

      Also, I would like to know why anything related to the team formerly known as the Redskins has its comments closed.

      • Rocket32

        bradthebluefish Probably because whoever is doing it knows it’s a topic where not everyone can handle following the site rules and staying civil as they discuss it. If they leave the comments open they’ll have to come back later to delete comments and ban accounts.

    • bradthebluefish

      I’ve been a follower for the past 5+ years and never seen anything like this before.

      • Then you haven’t been paying attention. They do this all the time for ‘hot button’ issues like this, and it’s 100% because commenters cannot behave themselves. Any article related to mistreatment of women (domestic violence, harassment, assault) has had comments closed for several years.

  3. GoChargers

    What I don’t understand is why with all the talk and controversy around it, this site still feels the need to use the slur name over and over in each story. Is Washington Football Team really too difficult to put in these stories?

    • Hail to the Redskins! What’s your problem, mate?

      The very existence of the Redskins too hot a reminder that your kind stole the Native Americans’ land and starved them to death?

      Hypocrisy and sanctimony be thy name.

      • slapnuts

        “Your kind”?!?! That’s rich. Every “kind” took (not stole) land from every other “kind” for every acre of this earth. No “kind” owned any land, ever

  4. Simmons>Russ

    Cowboys will come in sniffing about. 100%

    However their biggest issue for next year will be who is their starting QB. I’m still very interested in doing a slight down grade in talent to save money. I’d like Derek Carr for Dak, or even look into Matt Stafford otherwise I’ll be happy with Andy Dalton

    • Ak185

      I actually commented on the possibility of Dallas taking a look at him in the last Simmons article. I wrote a long explanation as to why, and then two minutes this article got posted and now no one will ever read it lol. But yes, Dallas is 100% taking a look if Simmons gets to free agency, and even beforehand. Not saying that he ends up there, but I am certain that there is interest in at the very least in evaluating the cost of bringing him to Dallas.

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