Standout free safety Justin Simmons has agreed to return to the Denver Broncos on a record-breaking deal. It is the Broncos with whom he has played for all five years of his professional career. The Justin Simmons extension is the latest off-season move in a string of housekeeping decisions from new general manager George Paton.
Justin Simmons Extension Makes Him Highest-Paid Safety
In five years with Denver thus far, Simmons has 16 interceptions, one touchdown, a fumble recovery, two sacks, 385 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 37 pass deflections. More recently, he earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2020. Ahead of his sixth season in the league, Simmons agreed to a four-year, $61 million deal, making him the highest-paid safety in the league. The 27-year old’s approximate $15.25 million per-year average seems well-earned when looking at the level of production from Simmons in recent seasons.
By the Numbers
Simmons set a new career high for interceptions in 2020 with five takeaways through the air. Playing 100 percent of defensive snaps for the third consecutive season, the ironman safety also accrued 96 tackles. In addition, he posted nine pass deflections, a fumble recovery, and three tackles for loss.
Despite a slight statistical step back in coverage in 2020, this past season was a massive big next step after an elite 2019 campaign for the young defender. In 2019, Simmons boasted four interceptions, 15 pass deflections, 93 tackles, and two tackles for loss. He also only allowed an impressive 52.8 percent completion percentage when targeted on 53 pass attempts. Permitting only one touchdown in year four, Simmons also earned a career-low missed tackle percentage.
The Boston College alumnus was drafted 98th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He went on to have impressive seasons in 2017 and 2018 before becoming the safety he is today. Those two seasons showcased the foundations from which Simmons would go on to build a successful career. It was 2018 in which the safety first played 100 percent of defensive snaps in a season. He continues this snap streak to this day. Throughout his rookie contract and 2020’s franchise tag, Simmons made the most of every on-field opportunity.
The Broncos defense welcomes the consistency, availability, and influence of the defender both on and off the field. His value to the community cannot be understated, and the value of the Justin Simmons extension suggests his on-field value must not be, either.