Broncos S Justin Simmons expects franchise tag

On the heels of arguably his finest season yet, Broncos safety Justin Simmons doesn't expect to be leaving Denver.

The four-year pro expects the Broncos to apply the franchise tag, he said via SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday.

"We expect to get franchise tagged," Simmons said in an interview with hosts Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn. "We're kind of sitting on the optimistic side of things, just because in the past when the Broncos have used the tag and Elway's used it, they've always worked out a long-term deal."

It's hardly a surprise that Simmons would be tagged or that he would see it coming.

A 2016 third-round pick by Denver, Simmons played out his rookie deal this past season and weighs in at No. 7 on's free-agent list.

It was a season in which he started all 16 games for a second-straight campaign and tallied career-highs of four interceptions and 15 passes defended, while tallying 93 tackles. He led the Broncos in picks and passes defended and was second to linebacker Todd Davis in tackles.

At 26 years old, Simmons is seemingly entering his prime years and fast becoming one of the better safeties in the NFL. Hence, head coach Vic Fangio doesn't want him leaving his defense anytime soon and a franchise tag is a likely means to keeping Simmons around until the parties can agree on a long-term deal.

Said Simmons: "We're pretty confident that we'll be able to work something out."

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