The Broncos Need to Extend This Player's Contract During the 2020 Season

The Denver Broncos need to resign this player to bolster their defense.
The Denver Broncos need to resign this player to bolster their defense. / Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have a number of key players hitting free agency next summer, but one name looms larger than everyone else.

Starting free safety Justin Simmons is on course for free agency in 2021, and the Broncos can't afford to lose him. GM John Elway already avoided a potential disaster last season by franchise tagging him, but that one-year, $11.4 million deal won't suffice after the 2020 season ends. Simmons, set to be 27 years old and entering the prime of his career, will want a long-term extension, and there will be a huge bidding war for his services.

The Broncos' defense has been the main strength of the team going back to the Super Bowl runs of 2014-15, and Simmons has become a key part of the system. Simmons was named Second-Team All Pro in 2019 after a banner campaign that saw him total 93 tackles, 15 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions.

Simmons played on every single defensive snap for the Broncos last season and was the No. 1 ranked safety by PFF. The Broncos have already given huge contracts to Von Miller, A.J. Bouye, and Kareem Jackson, and it's clear that Simmons deserves similar treatment.

The Broncos are likely going to have some salary cap issues to keep their young stars when 2021 rolls around, but Simmons should still be at the top of the list. As free safeties go, Simmons will be the best one available on the market, and the Broncos have no one to replace him. The Broncos haven't even drafted a safety since they took Simmons in 2016.

Simmons is the kind of defensive player that you try to keep long-term. Giving him an extension should be the No. 1 priority. The Broncos have other important free agents such as linebacker Todd Davis, left tackle Garrett Bolles, and running back Phillip Lindsay, but keeping a player of Simmons' talent around should still be the main priority.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.