The Broncos intend to reach a long-term contract with Simmons before exploring the possibility of franchise tagging him for a second consecutive year, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

With the franchise tag window opening Tuesday and extending through March 9, new Broncos GM George Paton is faced with one of his first critical decisions. Simmons, who earned the first Pro-Bowl nod of his career while playing on the tag in 2019, is a homegrown player who has developed into one of the premier safety talents in the league. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent, but both sides have expressed interest in reaching an extension. The 27-year-old has composed three consecutive 90-plus tackle seasons, while his nine interceptions since the start of 2019 rank second to only Tyrann Mathieu among safeties. Matt Prater, Ryan Clady, Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller (ankle) all landed long-term extensions with the organization after receiving the franchise tag during John Elway's GM tenure. Paton will be directing personnel decisions this offseason, however.

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