The Denver Broncos retained the services of star safety Justin Simmons for the 2020 NFL season via the franchise tag. It appears the club is willing to repeat that process but only if contract negotiations go poorly.
Per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, the Broncos are currently "expected" to put the franchise tag on Simmons again at some point between Tuesday afternoon and when the window to do so closes on March 9.
As Jon Heath noted for Broncos Wire, PFT's update follows a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport in which Rapoport said the Broncos would "like to get a new long-term deal done with Simmons" and avoid using the franchise tag for a second straight year. Simmons would earn a guaranteed base salary of $13.729 million under the tag, but the two sides can negotiate until July 15 if he's tagged over the next couple of weeks.
Simmons made the first Pro Bowl squad appearance of his career for the 2020 campaign, and he finished the season tied for fourth overall with five interceptions. He also contributed 96 total tackles and nine passes defended.