Broncos, Justin Simmons closing in on long-term deal

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While the Broncos used the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons, it appears he won’t have to play on it.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the deal is finalized, but Denver and Simmons appear to be closing in on a long-term deal.

Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado reports the deal is done as a four-year, $61 million contract with $35 million guaranteed — making Simmons the league’s highest-paid safety.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport initially reported the two sides agreed to terms, but later said parts of the deal were still being worked on and team and player hope it will be completed soon.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the two sides have been close to striking a deal “for days,” but both team and player “insist it is not done but they are hoping to soon complete it.” Rapoport’s correction came after Schefter refuted the initial report.

Simmons has been one of the league’s most productive safeties since Denver selected him in the third round of the 2016 draft. He’s recorded 16 interceptions and 37 passes defensed in his five seasons.