Before the free agency began on March 17th, the Broncos decided to put the franchise day on Justin Simmons’ safety for the second year in a row.
The team has informed Simmons of the decision. He is still free to negotiate with other teams, but the Broncos have the right to agree on any bid sheet. If they fail to do this, they will be given two draft picks for the first round.
« Naming Justin Franchise Tag is a step in the process that will allow us to keep working on a long-term business, » Paton said in a statement. « We are fully focused on ensuring that Justin remains an important part of the Denver Broncos for years to come. »
Simmons, 27, will be the first player to be franchised tag this off-season and the second to tag in consecutive years. Safety in Jacksonville Donovin Darius was recognized for three consecutive seasons from 2003 to 2005.
A player marked for the second consecutive year will be offered an offer of 120% of their previous year’s salary ($ 11.441 million). Simmons would receive $ 13.73 million, which is fully guaranteed upon signing. That wouldn’t stop the sides from continuing to work out a long-term deal.
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The fact that General Manager George Paton stamped the label could be an indication that the sides are as far apart financially as they were last July. The Broncos and Simmons camp can try to work out a long-term deal by mid-July. Meanwhile, Paton was smart about putting the label on Simmons to keep him from going on the open market, where security would have generated a lot of interest – and likely multi-year deals.
« Our goal since I’ve been here has been to sign him on a long-term contract, » said Paton on Thursday. “We had talks with his agent. I don’t know if we’re going to make a deal or not, but that’s our goal. He’s the type we want to expand. »
It would be up to both sides to make a deal. For Simmons, it would reward him with the security of millions of guaranteed money. For the Broncos, it would allow Paton & Co. to go into free hands with spending flexibility as a long-term contract would likely close with a low cap hit by 2022, as is the case with Garett Bolles this year ($ 5 million U.S. dollar). .
Simmons is productive (16 career interceptions) and long-lived (his 3,211 consecutive snaps are currently the longest streak for a defensive player). Simmons, selected by Boston College in the third round in 2016, became a full-time starter in 2017 and has 373 tackles in 74 games. He was a second-team all-pro in 2019 and a Pro Bowl selection last year.
In 2020, Simmons led the Broncos with five interceptions. In his 2020 season he collected 96 tackles (72 solo tackles) as well as nine defended passes and a fiddly recovery. This made him the only player in the league with more than 90 tackles and five interceptions. He’s also one of five safeguards in the history of Broncos to be recognized as a Pro Bowler and All-Pro with the team.
During Paton’s tenure as Vikings manager, Minnesota used the Franchise Tag twice, one of which tags resulted in a long-term business. The Vikings placed the 2011 day on linebacker Chad Greenway but then landed a multi-year deal before the deadline, while Security Anthony Harris played on the day last year.
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