2020 NFL Free Agency: Early predictions for top 25 players

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images /
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Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images /

24. S Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos

2019 Salary: $767,388

Where he will sign: Denver Broncos

One of the most underrated safeties in the NFL and a huge breakout player of 2019, Justin Simmons has emerged as one of the top defensive backs set to be available this offseason. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely he even finds his way to the open market.

Why? Because I find it very hard to believe the Denver Broncos let him walk. In fact, they may prioritize keeping Simmons over Chris Harris Jr., which seems odd considering how long the latter has been a staple for the Denver secondary. And yet, the money should go to the player who offers a brighter future.

That would be Simmons, a former third-round pick out of Boston College who has proven himself to be a big-time playmaker for Denver. During the last four seasons, he’s amassed 268 total tackles, 11 interceptions and 27 passes defended. That’s terrific production for a young safety, but it’s all the more impressive when you see the impact he has outside of the stat sheet.

Plenty of clubs will be chomping at the bit to talk to Simmons. However, I don’t think they ever get the opportunity as the Broncos either ink him to a long-term deal or slap him with the franchise tag. Whatever way it plays out, Simmons stays in Colorado for now.