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Indianapolis Colts Need to Land This Veteran Defender

One of the best players left on the free agent market, Safety Justin Simmons would be a great pickup for the Indianapolis Colts.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker

The Indianapolis Colts need help at safety. Justin Simmons, one of the NFL’s best players at the position, is currently a free agent. With that said, a Simmons-to-Indy scenario just makes a ton of sense.

Surprisingly, Simmons is still available. After the Denver Broncos released him in March, you would think he would’ve signed with another team by now. But obviously, that hasn’t happened yet. Justin Simmons is an immensely talented Pro-Bowler who could immediately upgrade the Colts secondary.

Indianapolis Colts Need to Land Free Agent Safety Justin Simmons

Justin Simmons’ Football Career

After playing his college ball at Boston College, Justin Simmons was selected by the Broncos in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He went on to have an astounding eight-year career in Denver. Simmons earned two Pro Bowl nods and was named a four-time Associated Press second-team All-Pro. He also earned an NFL Top 100 selection three times. In addition, he was a three-time nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Justin Simmons had several outstanding plays during his time with the Broncos. He came up with game-winning interceptions versus the Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders in 2017, the Miami Dolphins in 2020, and the Washington Commanders during the 2021 season. Perhaps his most memorable play came in 2016 when he blocked an extra point against the New Orleans Saints. Fellow safety Will Parks ultimately returned it as Denver won the game.

Simmons is the league’s only player to record at least three interceptions in each of the past six seasons. He tied for the NFL lead in interceptions during the 2022 season.

2023 was a Pro Bowl campaign for Simmons. The Florida native produced 70 tackles, three interceptions, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles, and a sack.

Why Indianapolis Should Sign Him

The Colts selected a pair of designated safeties (Jaylon Carlies and Jaylin Simpson) in the fifth round of this year’s draft. However, both players are moving to different positions. Carlies will play linebacker while Simpson switches to cornerback. Therefore, the Colts really didn’t address the safety position via the draft.

Indianapolis did re-sign Julian Blackmon this offseason, though. While he’s guaranteed to start at strong safety, the free safety spot is up for grabs. Daniel Scott, who was competing for a starting spot, suffered a season-ending injury this spring for the second consecutive year.

Simmons would be perfect for the job. Although he’s 30 years old, he hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. He and Blackmon could form a dynamic one-two punch this upcoming season. Plus, Simmons could mentor Indy’s young safeties like 22-year-old Nick Cross.

After signing all nine of their draft picks, the Colts currently have about $25 million in cap space. That means they have enough money to sign Simmons, whose expected salary is roughly $11 million.

It’s unclear whether Colts general manager Chris Ballard will add a veteran safety this offseason or rely on young players like Cross and Rodney Thomas II. But if he chooses to go that route, Justin Simmons needs to be the guy.

Main Photo Credit: Syndication: The Indianapolis Star


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