Denver Broncos chose not to sign Justin Simmons for a multi-year contract extension, instead choosing to stick to the franchise label the team had applied to safety early last spring. Earning $ 11.441 million from the franchise brand, Simmons definitely received a significant increase, almost tripling what he earned during his four-year rookie contract. For one season.
This is what the game at the All-Pro level in the contract year can do for safety. Simmons entered into negotiations with Denver last offseason in hopes of becoming the highest paid safety in the game.
However, the Broncos wanted to see him duplicate his work in 201
Simmons struggled in the first quarter of the season. Out of all the injuries Broncos suffered, Simmons’ regression could be the biggest disappointment to date.
Although he still earns top 10 safety ratings from those like Pro Football Focus, anyone who has watched the Broncos’ four games this year may notice that he is far from the same high-impact player he was last year. As the trading deadline is fast approaching, of all the options the Broncos have on the list, Simmons currently makes the most sense if Ellway were to make a deal.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell could predict that the Broncos could trade Simmons with the Dallas Cowboys before the October 29 deadline in exchange for 2021 second round selection, 2022 fourth round selection.
Broncos fans would probably like to stick to a Jamal Adams-sized package in exchange for their stellar safety, but that’s just not realistic. Adams was two years away from the free agency, while Simmons was already in his first franchise. The Broncos failed to agree to a pre-season contract extension with the Boston College product, and since Simmons had to win $ 13.7 million on a second-brand franchise for $ 175 million next year, things won’t get any easier.
If Denver lose their next two games and drop out of the playoffs at 1-5, they will have to face facts. There is no point in Simmons playing the second half of a lost season before leaving him to leave a free agency. The lock in the second round gives the Broncos a better choice than the compensatory selection in the third round, has that choice to arrive a year earlier and allows general manager John Yellowway to spend in a free agency without denying this possible compensatory choice.
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It may hurt some fans to hear it, but Barnwell’s logic is not flawed. If the Broncos fail to at least split those next two games, defeating either the New England Patriots this week or the Kansas City Chiefs in Denver next, if a team like the Cowboys are willing to give up the second round next year, plus a mid-round choice, knowing the financial hurdles that can await this team in 2021 would be too good a deal to miss.
Now, if Simmons came out, that would be a different story. It is usually not advisable to hand out elite players during their prime.
In 2019, Simmons hinted that he may have elite potential, but in the first quarter of this season he is playing at the replacement level. If the right team calls and offers a second round in exchange for Simmons, it’s a deal Elway has to make all day and twice a Sunday.
I would not expect a deal to happen. However, Elway has been active in recent years in the trading deadline. In 2018, Elway was handed out for all time by Demaryius Thomas and Pro Bowler Emmanuel Sanders in 2019.
The way Simmons plays, it’s hard to see any team willing to offer him a second round, even one that could use safety assistance like the Cowboys. After all, we are talking about a one-year miracle.
“Broncos” invested in the third round in Simmons in 2016, so they take it for five years, just to give it away for the second round? That would be a great coup to celebrate for Elway GM.
Probably head coach Vic Fangio will be fully on board, even if the right offer comes his way to Denver. I’ll be curious to know exactly how Fangio feels about his $ 11.4 million safety, playing at the substitution level.
I guess – since we are talking strictly for hypothetical reasons – Fangio would also accept this offer. With the speed that Simmons plays, the Broncos will be turned down to turn down such an offer if it ever becomes a reality.
Which is not the case. It’s fun to speculate, isn’t it?
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.