Justin Simmons Receives Franchise Tag

Justin Simmons

Safety Justin Simmons will not hit the open market, as the Denver Broncos placed the franchise tag on the star defensive back. If signed, the deal will keep Simmons with the team through 2021. Simmons has spent all five seasons of his career thus far with the Denver Broncos.

Denver Broncos Use Franchise Tag on Justin Simmons

As in previous years, Simmons continued to show statistical improvement in 2020. He finished with 94 combined tackles (tied for career-high), and sat a personal record with 75 solo tackles. He also had five interceptions, also a career-high. Simmons also had one fumble recovery and nine pass deflections. He had a game-winning interception in Week 11 against the Miami Dolphins. All of this got him his first Pro Bowl berth, although he had gotten All-Pro honors before.

Simmons played football in high school at Martin County High School in Florida, and then in college with Boston College, and was voted in his senior year to the Second-Team All-ACC team. He was drafted by the Broncos late in the third round in 2016. By December, he had solidified his spot as a starter. He pulled in two interceptions in 2017, which included a 65-yard pick-six. He missed the final three games of the season due to injury, but has not missed a game since. Also notably, he has not missed a single snap in the past three years and is thus the current defensive leader in the league in consecutive snaps.

Over the next few years, his statistics went upward almost every year. He went from two interceptions in 2017 to three in 2018, and then four in 2019. The 2019 season proved to be his big breakout season for the rest of the league as in addition to those interceptions, he had 15 pass deflections (still a career high), and got Second-Team All-Pro honors. He was also a Walter Payton Man of the Year award nominee. He continued his rise to being known as one of the league’s better safeties in 2020.

Thus far in his career, Simmons has 369 combined tackles (272 solo), 16 interceptions, and two sacks.

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