Broncos avoid giant Justin Simmons problem for now

The Denver Broncos won’t have to worry about their star defensive back holding out

Entering Friday morning, five NFL players had yet to sign their official franchise tender heading into the 2020 season. Hours later, that tally decreased by one.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons will officially sign the tender with the team this weekend, where he’ll earn $12.7 million for the upcoming season.

What are the next steps for Justin Simmons and the Broncos?

With Simmons cross his T’s and dotting his I’s, this ensures that he won’t be holding out for the upcoming campaign. However, a long-term contract extension is unlikely due to the July 15 negotiation deadline.

Despite that, the Broncos can negotiate an extension with Simmons at the conclusion of the 2020 season. If both sides are nowhere near reaching an agreement, Denver can place the franchise tag on him yet again. From there, they could potentially work towards a long-term extension.

Simmons, a 2016 third-round pick out of Boston College, turned into one of the biggest steals in that year’s NFL Draft. Through his four years at Mile High, the safety recorded 198 tackles, 28 passes defensed and 11 interceptions. But those stats don’t do Simmons justice when it comes to his elite coverage ability.

This past season, Simmons surrendered just 28 receptions for 288 yards and one touchdown on 53 target, according to Pro Football Reference. Oh, and he recorded four interceptions when quarterback threw to his area in the secondary.

The Broncos opted to move on from cornerback Chris Harris in order to retain Simmons. Now, the clock is ticking for them to guarantee that transaction wasn’t all for naught.