According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Denver Broncos have put up a franchise tag for the safety of Justin Simmons.
Simmons emerged from a 2019 campaign in which he played every game, recording 93 tackles, four interceptions, one fiddly recovery and 15 passes defended.
The 26-year-old was originally selected by the Broncos in the third round (98th vote overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.
During his rookie year, he appeared in 13 competitions, mostly in a bank role. When he was on the field, he was effective, logging 30 tackles, a sack, a couple of picks, and four defended passes.
The following season, Denver made Simmons a full-time starter. And he finished the game with 69 tackles, two interceptions, five defended passes, and a defensive touchdown in 13 games.
Born in Manassas, Virginia, the player finally played his first full 16-game season in 2018, recording 97 tackles, three picks and four defended passes.
At the start of this off-season, Simmons was fully aware of the fact that he could be recognized as a Franchise Partner. And while he didn’t sound too enthusiastic about the idea, he said he’s “not the type to sit outside” and that “when it happens, it happens,” according to Mike Klis of 9 News.
Now it has happened and both sides have until July to agree on a long-term deal.
The Broncos won seven games last season and missed the playoffs for four years in a row. The recent Denver drought follows a run that saw them make five straight postseason, culminating in a Super Bowl win in 2015.