Over the course of the NFL season, there has been lots of buzz about Justin Simmons’ contract with the Denver Broncos coming to a close. Many questions about him have been asked. Will he stay? Will he go? If he stays, what deal will Denver sign him on? If he leaves, what team will he go to? I am not here to answer those questions today; I am here to analyze previously reported news about Simmons. Earlier today, Justin Simmons posted on Instagram saying, “Thank you, Broncos Country.” He also spoke to the media today and had a message that you will probably want to see.
Media Statement via Zoom
Justin Simmons has, without a doubt, been a stud this year. His statistics alone could make the argument that he is the best safety in the NFL. Losing him would be more painful for the Broncos than losing 16 games in a row as one could potentially cause the other. It was reported in a tweet by Denver reporter, Mike Klis, that Justin Simmons made a statement when wrapping up with the media today. Simmons stated, “Want to let you guys know I’m very appreciative of coverage you have given myself and platform you’ve lifted up for me to speak on. It’s been great. I don’t take any of that for granted.” According to Klis, it had a “goodbye feel” to it. This surely does not sit well with Broncos fans as they are only hoping that the horror of Justin Simmons in a different uniform does not become a reality. To all those who fear his departure, I can reassure you and remind you that Justin Simmons has stated multiple times this season that he wants to remain a Denver Bronco. I have a funny feeling that this message comes with a reason. Whether that may be Denver declining his club option, Denver not meeting his wanted pay, Denver explicitly stating that they are letting him walk, etc. I don’t think that this message would pop up out of the blue. Nonetheless, there’s more to the story.
Simmons posted on Instagram around noon eastern time stating “Thank you, Broncos country.” Now, it is not fair to assume that this is a farewell message. It could mean a lot of things. It could mean that he’s thanking the fanbase in case he does decide to part ways with Denver. It could mean that he is thanking the fanbase for sticking around through this roller coaster ride of a year. It could mean a variety of things. However, that’s not the worst part. Two Denver Broncos’ defensive backs had something to say within the comments of Justin Simmons’ Instagram post. The recently acquired, Will Parks, stated, “And he’s out”. Now, this may sound like bad news, but Will later clarified in a reply that he didn’t say anything about Simmons ‘leaving Denver.’ The ultimate scare is what Broncos safety, Kareem Jackson, had to say.
“On the real man, this man deserves everything coming his way whether it is in a Denver uniform or some other colors. Since day one has been nothing but a humble hard-working man!! One of my favorite teammates of all time and when it’s all said and done will be one of my best friends!! @jsimms1119 I’m extremely happy for you and your family my guy. You did what you were supposed to do on the field and in this community!! It was an honor to call you a teammate but more importantly to call you a brother…and no I’m not crying, got something in my eye,” Jackson stated on Instagram.
What really fascinates me is Jackson’s choice of words. He chooses the word ‘was’ in the sentence, “It WAS an honor to call you a teammate but more importantly to call you a brother.” This implies that Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson’s time as teammates have come to an end. Nothing is official, so it’s not fair to assume that’s what Kareem meant. He did also say in his comment: “…whether it is in a Denver uniform or some other colors.” This would mean that he does not know what the future holds about Simmons which would deem the statement I mentioned previously invalid. Either way, it is quite heartbreaking to see these Broncos players say what they have said because Sunday really could have been the last time they play in the same uniform. However, it doesn’t end here.
John Elway Moves From His GM Position
News broke that John Elway would be taking an ‘elevated role’ within the Broncos organization, meaning that the general manager spot would be empty. Denver is now in search of a new general manager which could possibly affect Justin Simmons. The end goal for Elway, the Broncos, and Simmons was to reach a long-term deal. That was the goal in 2019, but it was delayed as they franchise-tagged him. Simmons is not looking to get franchise-tagged; he wants to be in Denver long-term. Elway had that mindset but a new general manager may not. They may be looking to get rid of Simmons and spend money on somebody else, who knows? The Broncos front office situation is unpredictable at this point, so the decisions that that front office will make are also unpredictable. Hopefully, the new GM of the Broncos makes the right decision for Simmons.
What a Simmons departure could mean for Denver?
There is no doubt that Justin Simmons has been playing at an extremely high level for the Broncos. If Simmons parts ways with the team, the defense will likely make a major regress. Simmons has been a crucial part of a Denver Broncos team with a very injured defense. Five Denver cornerbacks were sidelined for the ending duration of the season with injuries or suspensions. That secondary has taken a hit and Justin Simmons is what is holding it together. Denver also has safety, Kareem Jackson, but he is aging and may not be a Bronco next year as well. As good as Jackson is, he cannot be relied on as the long-term guy if he decides to stay. Overall, Denver will HEAVILY benefit from re-signing Justin Simmons to a long-term deal.