Following failed long-term negotiations ahead of the franchise-tag deadline, Justin Simmons appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football to discuss those negotiations, as well as, the hype surrounding the Broncos and Drew Lock.
"I don't believe you're pumping him [Drew Lock] up enough." pic.twitter.com/tD817Bz6ZM
— GMFB (@gmfb) July 17, 2020
“If the Broncos wanted to get a deal done, they would’ve, and so the reality is it’s another year.” Simmons said in regards to his failed negotiations with the team. “Franchise tag is like contract year all over again. So year two in Vic [Fangio]’s system with all the weapons that we have, y’know, I’m more than confident in myself and what I can do. So moving forward, we’ll just have to see, y’know. It’s a business decision on both ends and so whatever is in my best interest and my family’s best interest is always what I’m going to do.”
That comment was criticized by some in Denver’s sports media for lacking humility, but Simmons quickly shot that notion down.
A deal is two sided. Never single handedly blamed anyone. Reality is if it was going to happen it would have. I’m thankful for another year to play ball and would appreciate you not trying to divide myself and the team. https://t.co/cRWUbBfawY
— Justin Simmons (@jsimms1119) July 17, 2020
“We just got so many weapons around the board and we’re talking about year two, guys feeling comfortable in the system,” Simmons said. “I can’t say enough good things about our defense man, and you’re talking about a motivated defense at that, y’know, guys willing to prove themselves. So, y’know, we got Drew [Lock]’s back. I’m excited. Like I said the season can’t come fast enough man. I just need to get back to some football.”
Simmons didn’t save his compliments for the defensive side of the ball though, as he made sure to heap praise onto his second-year quarterback as well.
“I don’t think … you’re pumping him up enough,” Simmons said. “I saw it in the locker room. In those five games he was playing, even when he was starting to get back, he was taking reps against the first-team defense, it didn’t matter. There was that type of swag, and like I said, a lot of it is just confidence, not even cockiness, y’know? He just goes out there, he knows his abilities, and he knows what he can do and he delivers. So, five games, 4-1, had a whole off-season to really prepare for this and so, like I said, I really think Drew is going to step into his own this season and I’m excited for him.”
The interview continued to illustrate the incredible person Simmons is in the locker room and away from the game of football, and why the Broncos’ top priority after the 2020 season should be locking him up long-term.