Blame it on whatever you want, but so far, the 2020 Broncos season has been awful. With injuries piling up daily and a brutal schedule ahead, the playoffs have become an unlikely outcome for Denver.
Thus, it’s time to make moves. The Broncos and one of their best players have been on the verge of parting ways after the season, and with the season unraveling, it’s time to speed up the process. The Broncos should trade safety Justin Simmons.
With continual turnover in personnel and coaching, Simmons has remained a constant and reliable presence for the Broncos. In recent years, Denver has struggled to get production out of their draft picks. Simmons has been a bright spot on a list of draft picks that otherwise have not panned out.
His continual growth as a player was recognized last season when he was voted second team All-Pro. He has been an incredible teammate and beyond amazing in the community. You would think that would be enough to earn Simmons a contract extension, but, nope.
This past offseason, the Broncos placed the franchise tag on Simmons, but were unable to come to terms on a contract extension. Simmons is playing 2020 on the franchise tag. It’s hard to believe that the two sides will come to an agreement next offseason after failed negotiations this past summer. Simmons’ exit from Denver is inevitable.
It’s important to note, Simmons has not requested a trade or acted disgruntled with the way things have played out with the Broncos. He has not said he plans to leave Denver next offseason if given the opportunity. Even with failed negotiations on an extension, Simmons has remained a team player and loyal to the organization.
But at some point, he is going to want to win. The inconsistency and losing must wear on a player. Simmons is considered one of the best safeties in the NFL and is entering his prime. He probably doesn’t want to spend his best years watching the Broncos front office continue to make blunder after blunder.
Trading Simmons during the season isn’t an outrageous idea. The Broncos have set this precedence the last two years.
During the 2018 season, the Broncos traded wide receiver Demaryius Thomas after Week 8. And in 2019, they traded wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders after Week 7. Both were among the best players on the team, but the time had come to move on. Unlike Thomas and Sanders at the time of their trades, Simmons is not on the downside of his career and could likely command a premium draft pick.
Jamal Adams is a safety that was traded to the Seahawks prior to the season and has had an immediate impact on Seattle’s defense. While stylistically different than Adams, Simmons could be the final piece for a top team to make a Super Bowl run.
The Broncos have made it clear they don’t believe Simmons is a top three safety in the NFL. If they believed that, they would’ve paid him. I highly doubt they’re going to re-sign him next offseason when they have to pay him even more money. That would be ridiculous.
With the writing on the wall, it only makes sense for the team to gain value for Simmons before he potentially leaves in free agency. This team needs to fully commit to a rebuild and the best way to do that is to obtain draft picks. Trading Simmons would give them a good head start.
The Broncos don’t have to trade Simmons tomorrow, but as the season continues down the losing path, why on earth would they keep him on the team? It would make zero sense to not get something in return for a player they are not willing to pay.
The Broncos owe it to Simmons to trade him to a team that will allow him to compete rather than play another season that is over by the midway point. The Broncos owe it to the future of the organization to not let a talented player leave for nothing. Simmons’ prime years will be over in the next few seasons and I’m sure he’d like to play his best years in games that matter. Trading Simmons before the trade deadline is the best move for all involved.
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