The Denver Broncos are putting a franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons for a second season in a row, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.
Simmons, ready to become an unrestricted free agent, becomes the first player to be tagged in the offseason.The Broncos now have until July 15 to find a long-term deal.
“Justin has been one of our core and our goal since I came here is to sign him on a long-term deal,” Broncos general manager George Paton said on Thursday. “We had a good conversation with his agent, I don’t know if we could come to an agreement. But that’s our goal. He’s the kind of person that we want to expand. ”
NFL teams have until March 9 at 4 p.m. ET to place the franchise tag on the most valuable players.
Simmons, the Broncos̵7; third-round pick in the 2016 draft, played on the $ 11.4 million franchise player tag.He finished with 96 tackles and five interceptions. It’s the third consecutive season of 90’s fight. He is an active player in defensive runs throughout the battle line, with the versatility of being able to match up with a wide variety of players in the coverage.
Simmons, 27, combines on-field performance and off-pitch community involvement as he has played every defensive game over the past three seasons and has been named Bron’s nominee. Ghost on last season for Walter Payton. Male of the Year Award
When Paton was hired in January, Broncos’ president of football operations, John Elway, said trying to sign the Simmons again was “one of the greatest” Paton was on his to-do list.
Simmons is one of the most active players in the community and one of the team’s leaders in Social Justice initiatives.
He received the Darrent Williams Good Guy award, given each season by the Denver chapter of Pro Football Writers of America, to Broncos players for his recognition of his professionalism and depth of media interaction. Simmons has only been a three-time award winner since it began in 2006.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.