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Broncos Bid Farewell to Pro Bowl Safety Justin Simmons, Leaving a Lasting Legacy Both On and Off the Field; Community, Leadership, and Devotion to Family Shine Through

In a surprising move that reverberated through Broncos Country, the Denver Broncos announced the release of two-time Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons after eight seasons with the team. The decision, driven by the team’s financial constraints and the need to navigate a challenging salary cap situation, will save the Broncos $14.5 million while incurring a $3.75 million dead money charge.

Simmons, who arrived in Denver as a third-round pick in 2016, became the Broncos’ longest-tenured player and a cornerstone of the defense. Despite his impressive contributions, the move was necessitated by the Broncos’ commitment to manage their cap space, further strained by the record-breaking dead money charge incurred from the release of quarterback Russell Wilson.

The 30-year-old safety, known for his versatility, ball-hawking skills, and leadership on and off the field, had an impactful presence in Denver. He never experienced a playoff game during his tenure but earned two Pro Bowl selections (2020, 2023) and was named second-team All-Pro four times (2019, 2021-2023). Simmons’ departure marks the end of an era for the Broncos’ secondary, leaving behind an impressive legacy with 30 interceptions, tying him for seventh in franchise history.

The Broncos acknowledged Simmons’ impact in a statement, emphasizing his growth into an All-Pro and team captain. Beyond his on-field achievements, Simmons became a perennial Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, showcasing his commitment to uplifting others and fostering positive change in the community.

The Broncos organization recognized Simmons’ extensive community involvement, especially at the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club, where he spent countless hours mentoring youth. His charitable work in both Denver and his hometown of Stuart, Florida, solidified his status as a beloved figure off the field. The team expressed gratitude for Simmons’ outstanding representation of the organization and wished him, his wife Taryn, and their children Laney, Shae, and Kyler the very best in the future.

As Simmons enters free agency, he joins a crowded market of veteran safeties recently released by various teams. Despite a down season by his standards in 2023, Simmons remains one of the top safeties available and is expected to draw significant interest from teams seeking a versatile and experienced playmaker in the secondary.

Simmons’ departure underscores the Broncos’ strategic shift in Year 2 under Head Coach Sean Payton, as they navigate cap challenges and lean on younger, more affordable talent to compete in the competitive AFC West. The Broncos have already initiated changes in the secondary, leaving fans to eagerly anticipate the team’s next moves as they reshape their roster for the upcoming season.

In a heartfelt reaction on social media, players and fans expressed their appreciation for Simmons, highlighting the impact he made on and off the field. The void left by his departure is palpable, but the Broncos now face the challenge of building a new era without their defensive stalwart.