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Broncos place franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons

Broncos, Justin Simmons

The Denver Broncos have placed a franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Simmons is coming off of a 2019 campaign in which he played every game and registered 93 tackles, four interceptions, a fumble recovery and 15 passes defended.

The 26-year-old was originally selected by the Broncos in the third round (98th pick overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

He appeared in 13 contests during his rookie year, primarily in a bench role. When he was on the field, he was effective, logging 30 tackles, a sack, a couple of picks and four passes defended.

The following season, Denver made Simmons a full-time starter. And he proceeded to finish with 69 tackles, a pair of interceptions, five passes defended and a defensive touchdown in 13 games.

The Manassas, Va. native finally played his first full 16-game season in 2018, recording 97 tackles, three picks and four passes defended.

Earlier this offseason, Simmons was entirely aware of the fact that he could be franchise tagged. And while he didn’t sound entirely thrilled with the idea, he said that he is “not the type of guy who would sit out” and that “if it happens, it happens,” per Mike Klis of 9 News.

Well, now it has happened, and both sides have until July to agree on a long-term deal.

The Broncos won seven games this past season and have missed the playoffs four years in a row. Denver’s recent drought comes on the heel of a run in which they made five straight trips to the postseason, culminating in a Super Bowl victory in 2015.