George Paton: Long-term deal the goal with Justin Simmons

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Safety Justin Simmons said early this week that it “seems like Denver wants me back” and Broncos General Manager George Paton got his chance to address that question on Wednesday.

Simmons played the 2020 season on the franchise tag after failing to reach an agreement on a long-term contract. At a press conference, Paton said that he’s had such a contract in mind since taking over the job in January and that it remains part of his plan for the offseason.

“Justin’s one of our core guys,” Paton said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “Our goal since I got here was to sign him to a long-term deal. So we’ve had good discussions with his agent. I don’t know if we’ll get a deal done or not but that’s the goal and he’s the type of guy we want to extend.”

If Simmons does hit the open market, he will be one of the more coveted players around the league. The Broncos can stop that from happening by using the franchise tag ahead of next Tuesday’s deadline and buying more time to talk about a longer commitment.