Last year, the Denver Broncos used the franchise tag on Justin Simmons to ensure that he’d remain with the franchise for at least one more season. With free agency less than two weeks away, the front office had to make yet another major decision regarding the All-Pro safety’s future.
Simmons had yet another great season for the Broncos, finishing with 96 tackles and five interceptions. If he were able to hit the open market, there would probably be a large bidding war for him.
However, the Broncos are not letting Simmons become an unrestricted free agent. For the second year in a row, Simmons is going to receive the franchise tag.
NFL insider Benjamin Allbright was first to break the news that Denver will be using the franchise tag on Simmons.
Breaking: Per league source Broncos all pro safety Justin Simmons will be getting the franchise tag today.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 5, 2021
This isn’t that shocking of a decision by Denver, especially since the front office wants to keep Simmons around for the long haul.
Over the past two seasons, Simmons has been the highest-graded safety in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
Simmons would’ve been the top safety available in free agency this year if the Broncos didn’t use the franchise tag. That being said, he could still earn a lucrative salary for the 2021 season if the two sides can work out a long-term deal.