ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Safety Justin Simmons has accepted his franchise tender, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter reported that Simmons is expected to sign the tender this weekend. By signing the tender, Simmons will officially be under contract for the 2020 season.
Simmons and the Broncos still have several more days to work out a long-term deal. They are permitted to negotiate a long-term contract until 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday, July 15. If that date passes, the Broncos would not be able to negotiate a new deal with Simmons until after the 2020 season.
Simmons' decision to sign the tender, though, ensures that he will be on the field in 2020 regardless of how discussions toward a multi-year deal progress. Players who do not sign their franchise tender are not eligible to play.
Should Simmons play this season on the franchise tender, it does not preclude him from later signing a long-term deal. Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence played the 2018 season on the franchise tag and then signed a long-term deal with Dallas in 2019.
The Broncos could also use the franchise tag on Simmons again in 2021 if they do not come to a long-term agreement.
Simmons, a fifth-year player, posted his best season as a professional in 2019. In his first year in Head Coach Vic Fangio's system, Simmons tallied four interceptions and 15 passes defensed. He has not missed a snap in two years.