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.
Simmons finished the 2020 season with 96 tackles, three tackles for loss, five interceptions, nine passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
Playing on the franchise tag, it's hard to imagine Simmons's season going any better for him. The Boston College product was one off his career high in tackles and set a career mark in interceptions with five, including the game-sealer in Week 11 versus Miami. All the while, he covered up the mistakes of a very young, injured cornerback corps. Simmons doubtlessly benefits from head coach Vic Fangio's zone-heavy scheme, but he's earned the right to be one of the league's highest-paid safeties no matter where he plays in 2021.
Simmons totaled three tackles, two passes defensed and an interception during Sunday's 32-31 loss to Las Vegas.
Though the Broncos' depleted defense couldn't hold the late lead, Simmons individually ended the season on a high note, defensing multiple passes for the first time in six games and picking up his career-high fifth interception. His final impression heading into an offseason in which he is likely to generate plenty of interest as a free agent was a strong one.
Simmons recorded seven tackles across 67 defensive snaps in Sunday's win over the Panthers.
Simmons and fellow safety Kareem Jackson continue to be pillars in the Broncos' secondary, as both have played every defensive snap for Denver this year. Simmons now has 83 tackles (67 solo), seven passes defensed, four interceptions and a fumble recovery through 13 games this season.
Simmons finished with eight tackles (five solo) and a tackle for loss in Sunday's 22-16 loss to Kansas City.
Simmons finished second on the team in tackles behind fellow safety Kareem Jackson (10). He has 76 tackles with four games to play, putting Simmons on track to top 90 for a third consecutive season.
Simmons recorded seven tackles, two passes defensed and an interception during Sunday's 20-13 win over Miami.
Following a Melvin Gordon fumble, the Dolphins were driving to tie up the game in the closing moments of the fourth quarter when Simmons stepped in front of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass to the end zone -- sealing the game. It was Simmons' third pick in his past four games and made up for an interception that he had earlier in the game that was called back on a teammate's holding call. Simmons ranks third in the league with four interceptions on the season and will be a test for Taysom Hill, making his second start Sunday.
Simmons recorded five tackles, two passes defended and an interception during Sunday's 34-27 loss in Atlanta.
Matt Ryan was looking to put the game away early in the second half when he tossed a bomb downfield. Simmons, playing on the other half of the field, saw it and ran across field to come up with the interception -- his second in as many games. Simmons now has three picks on the year, good for fifth-best in the league. He should have an easier time Sunday against Las Vegas, as both A.J. Bouye (concussion) and Bryce Callahan (ankle) are anticipated to return.
Simmons recorded eight solo tackles and a fumble recovery in Sunday's 18-12 win over the Patriots.
Simmons hasn't left the field on defense this season, and the fifth-year safety is averaging seven tackles per game while adding two pass breakups, an interception and a fumble recovery. His work in pass coverage is less appealing, as he's allowed a 121.5 passer rating and three touchdowns when targeted this season. That's irrelevant for fantasy purposes, however, and Simmons continues to be a consistent contributor in that realm.
Simmons recorded eight tackles, two passes defensed, a tackle for loss and an interception during Sunday's 26-21 loss in Pittsburgh.
While Broncos were dropping like flies, Simmons helped keep Denver in the game, leading the team in tackles while jumpstarting a comeback bid to begin the second half. On the Steelers' opening drive, Ben Roethlisberger took a shot down field, and Simmons clawed it down for a one-handed interception, handing the Broncos a short field and setting up a field goal. This season has started as about as poorly as it could for Denver from an injury perspective, but Simmons should be able to help keep the secondary afloat until players like A.J. Bouye are able to return to the fold.
Simmons signed his one-year, $11.44 million franchise tender Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Simmons technically has until Wednesday to negotiate a long-term contract extension with the Broncos that would replace the tender, but he appears content to play out the 2020 season on an expiring deal. The 26-year-old safety is coming off a banner 2019 campaign in which he notched 93 tackles, 15 pass breakups and four interceptions over 16 games.
The Broncos have placed their franchise tag on Simmons, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports.
The move was expected, with the report noting that the one-year tag for safeties is expected to be worth about $11.5 million. Additionally, look for Simmons and the Broncos to continue to work toward agreeing on a long-term deal in advance of the July 15 deadline to do so. The 26-year-old logged 93 total tackles and four picks in 16 contests last season.
Simmons anticipates receiving the franchise tag, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports.
Simmons suggested he doesn't mind, mentioning the Broncos' recent history of working out long-term contracts after they've used the tag on a player. The tag number should land around $12.7 million for a safety, with Simmons presumably aiming higher in terms of AAV on a long-term deal. PFF graded him as the NFL's No. 2 safety in 2019, when he played 99.7 percent of defensive snaps and piled up 93 tackles, 15 pass defenses and four interceptions. The 26-year-old has picked off two or more passes in each of his four seasons with Denver.
Simmons finished 2019 with 93 total tackles, four interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
Simmons' 15 passes defensed were more than his first three seasons combined and ranked eighth in the league while his four interceptions tied him for 13th in the league. Though he was a Pro-Bowl snub, he finished 2019 as a second-team All-Pro and on Pro Football Focus' first team. After playing out of position at times as a slot defender under former head coach Vance Joseph, the Boston College product thrived in a truer center-fielder role under Vic Fangio. Simmons appears to be the face of Denver's youth movement on defense and a priority to resign in the offseason. If Denver is unable to come to terms with Simmons on an extension, the franchise tag may be in play.
Simmons recorded five tackles during Sunday's 27-17 victory over the Lions.
Considered a Pro Bowl snub by many, Simmons again was an impactful piece of the Broncos' defensive efforts even if his production may not reflect it. Simmons is now up to 89 tackles on the year and will need eight more during Sunday's season finale to match his career-high total from last season (97).
Simmons snagged his fourth pick of the season in the Broncos' 23-3 loss to the Chiefs.
Simmons also recorded eight tackles (six solo) to go along with his interception. The 26-year-old was one of four Broncos defenders to play all 68 snaps. He will have two more games to attempt to add to his interception total starting with the team's Week 16 matchup versus the Lions.
Simmons recorded eight tackles, a pass defensed and an interception during Sunday's 20-3 loss in Buffalo.
Josh Allen was looking to jump-start a Buffalo drive minutes before the half when he sailed the ball over his receiver's head and into the waiting arms of Simmons, who returned the ball for an additional eight yards. On a Broncos team that has taken its lumps, Simmons has proven to be a budding star with a team-leading three interceptions and at least seven tackles in four of his last five games. Next up is a matchup against Philip Rivers -- owner of the league's fourth-highest interception rate -- and the Chargers, against which Simmons recorded an interception Week 5.
Simmons recorded eight tackles and two tackles for loss during Sunday' 24-19 win over Cleveland.
The Broncos have lost three games after relinquishing the lead in the final moments of the game this season, so fans were sweating Sunday as the Browns were marching down the field for what could have been a game-winning touchdown. Instead, Simmons cut into the backfield on 3rd-and-short, taking Nick Chubb down for a three-yard loss and forcing Cleveland into an unsuccessful fourth-down conversion. Despite a mediocre record, the Broncos head into the bye as the league's fourth-ranked defense. Simmons has arguably been the Broncos' best player, tied for the team lead with 53 tackles and pacing Denver with two interceptions and nine passes defensed.
Simmons had eight tackles (seven solo) and two passes defensed in Thursday's 30-6 loss to the Chiefs.
Simmons again played every defensive snap Thursday and has yet to miss a snap on defense through seven games. The 25-year-old has 38 tackles (28 solo) with eight passes defensed and two interceptions this season.
Simmons recorded four total tackles, an interception, and a pass defensed during Sunday's 16-0 win over the Titans.
Marcus Mariota scrambled away from pressure and launched a pass downfield to attempt a third-down conversion midway through the third quarter. Simmons jumped it for the interception, setting the Broncos up in Tennessee territory for what ended up being the game's lone touchdown. Simmons now has interceptions in back-to-back games patrolling the back end of Vic Fangio's defense. He'll be counted on again Thursday against a potent Kansas City attack.
Simmons recorded four tackles (two solo), an interception and a pass defensed across 70 defensive snaps in Sunday's win over the Chargers.
Simmons secured the Broncos first takeaway of the 2019 season, as he intercepted a tipped Philip Rivers pass. The safety has been an iron man all season, as he has not missed a single defensive rep. He'll look to continue that streak Sunday against the Titans.
|Mon 09/14||vs TEN||L 14-16||4||2||6||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 09/20||@ PIT||L 21-26||7||1||8||0||1||2||0||0|
|Sun 09/27||vs TB||L 10-28||7||1||8||0||0||0||0||0|
|Thu 10/01||@ NYJ||W 37-28||5||0||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 10/18||@ NE||W 18-12||8||0||8||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 10/25||vs KC||L 16-43||3||1||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/01||vs LAC||W 31-30||4||1||5||0||1||1||0||0|
|Sun 11/08||@ ATL||L 27-34||4||1||5||0||1||2||0||0|
|Sun 11/15||@ LV||L 12-37||5||4||9||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/22||vs MIA||W 20-13||6||1||7||0||1||2||0||0|
|Sun 11/29||vs NO||L 3-31||2||1||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 12/06||@ KC||L 16-22||5||3||8||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 12/13||@ CAR||W 32-27||7||0||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sat 12/19||vs BUF||L 19-48||5||1||6||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 12/27||@ LAC||L 16-19||3||1||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 01/03||vs LV||L 31-32||2||1||3||0||1||2||0||0|
|Career Defensive Stats|