Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons will play the 2020 NFL season on a one-year franchise tag after the two sides failed to reach a long-term deal before Wednesday's deadline.
On Friday, Simmons said he took the failed negotiations as a sign that Denver wasn't sold on him long term, and he's motivated to prove them wrong.
“If the Broncos wanted to get a deal done, they would've,” he said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football. “So the reality is another year on the franchise tag is like a contract year all over again. Year 2 in [head caoch Vic Fangio]'s system with all the weapons that we have, I'm more than confident in myself and what I can do. Moving forward, we'll just have to see. It's a business decision on both ends.
Simmons added that any decisions about his future with the Broncos will be determined based on “Whatever's in my best interest and my family's best interest.”
The safety is set to make $11.44 million in 2020. At 26, Simmons' size, speed, and ball skills make him one of the most versatile safeties in football, and the franchise is expected to lock up the star safety before next year.
For now—despite Chris Harris Jr.'s departure—Simmons seems excited to run it back for another season amidst a talented defense in Denver.
“Von Miller, Bradley Chubb is coming back, Jurrell Casey, we've got Shelby Harris, (Alexander Johnson), Todd (Davis), myself, Kareem (Jackson), A.J. Bouye, Bryce (Callahan) is coming back,” he said. “We've just got so many weapons around the board…I can't say enough good things about our defense. You talk about a motivated defense at that. Guys willing to prove themselves. … I'm excited.”