Justin Simmons will play on the one-year franchise tag in 2020 after the safety and the Denver Broncos failed to come to an agreement on a long-term deal before Wednesday's deadline.
Joining NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Friday, Simmons said he understands the business of football, and he's ready to prove he's well worth a big multi-year deal.
"If the Broncos wanted to get a deal done, they would've," he said. "And so the reality is another year on the franchise tag is like a contract year all over again. Year 2 in Vic's system with all the weapons that we have, I'm more than confident in myself and what I can do. Moving forward, we'll just have to see. It's a business decision on both ends. Whatever's in my best interest and my family's best interest is always what I'm going to do."
The safety is set to make $11.44 million on his one-year tender in 2020. GM John Elway knows Simmons plays a crucial role in Denver's defense and is worth a massive long-term deal down the line.
The 26-year-old is a ball-hawk with the size and speed to play all over the field. His versatility allows Broncos coach Vic Fangio flexibility to diversify the scheme upfront.
While the defense has seen some defections this season -- notably Chris Harris Jr.'s departure -- Simmons noted the playmakers in Denver can match anyone in the AFC.
"You're talking about Von Miller, Bradley Chubb is coming back, Jurrell Casey, we've got Shelby Harris, (Alexander Johnson), Todd (Davis), myself, Kareem (Jackson), A.J. Bouye, Bryce (Callahan) is coming back," he said. "We've just got so many weapons around the board. And we're talking about Year 2, guys feeling comfortable in the system. I can't say enough good things about our defense. You talk about a motivated defense at that. Guys willing to prove themselves. ... I'm excited. The season can't get here fast enough. We just need to get back to some football."
With a motivated defense out to prove it can slow down the likes of Patrick Mahomes, and a promising young quarterback in Drew Lock on the other side of the ball, it's no surprise many view Denver as a potential upstart playoff team in 2020.
Simmons is a key to the Broncos' secondary and their defensive versatility under Fangio. While Elway couldn't get a deal done this year, after the 2020 season, locking up the rising young safety should be priority No. 1.