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Broncos will franchise tag Justin Simmons if they can’t reach a deal

PFT revealed the Top 100 NFL free agent list and three quarterbacks, Dak Prescott, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, topped the chart this year.

Safety Justin Simmons said recently that he expects to be franchise tagged by the Broncos this offseason and General Manager John Elway confirmed that’s very much a possibility when he spoke to reporters in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Elway said, via multiple reporters, that the hope is to get a deal done with Simmons ahead of the deadline to use the franchise tag. That deadline is March 12 after the league and NFLPA agreed to push it back two days in light of this week’s round of talks on the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Simmons, who ranks 16th on PFT’s list of the year’s top free agents, would likely be in line for a salary north of $11.5 million if he played out the 2020 season under the terms of the tag.

Elway also announced that the Broncos will be declining their option on guard Ron Leary’s contract and picking up their options on kicker Brandon McManus and linebacker Todd Davis. The Leary move clears more than $8.4 million under the cap.