ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After Wednesday's 2 p.m. franchise tag deadline passed without the Broncos and Justin Simmons agreeing to a long-term deal, Simmons will officially play the 2020 season on the one-year franchise tag.
The Broncos are eligible to reengage negotiations for a long-term deal with Simmons — who signed the franchise tender earlier this week — after the final regular-season game of 2020.
Simmons will be the first Bronco during John Elway's time as general manager to play a season on the franchise tag. The previous four players on which Elway placed the tag agreed to long-term deals before the July 15 deadline.
Both sides spoke on several occasions of their desire to finalize a long-term deal, but they were unable to do so ahead of Wednesday's deadline.
According to numerous reports, the lack of a long-term deal does not reflect the Broncos' opinion of Simmons. The team reportedly remains interested in finalizing a long-term deal when able in 2021.
Simmons has also emphasized on several occasions that he hopes to remain in Denver for the extended future.
While the Broncos could work out a long-term deal with Simmons next season, they are also eligible to place the franchise tag on him again in 2021. Simmons' salary this season will be the average of the top five salaries at the safety position. If tagged again in 2021, his salary would be 120 percent of that number.
Simmons posted the best season of his young career in 2019 as he tallied four interceptions and 15 passes defensed in his first season in Head Coach Vic Fangio's system. No safety broke up more passes than Simmons last year. His four interceptions were tied for the fifth-most among safeties.
The former third-round pick has not missed a defensive snap over the previous two seasons.