On Monday, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal released his annual list of the NFL’s top 101 free agents (though unfortunately without the late Chris Wesseling helping), and it is clear this year’s class isn’t quite on par with those of past off-seasons.


Once the franchise tags roll in, that free-agent class will become even further depleted.

Although the class, on the whole, isn’t great, two members of the Denver Broncos — Shelby Harris and Justin Simmons — managed to snag a spot on the list.

Simmons is ranked as the fifth-best potential free agent overall, the second-best potential free agent on the defensive side of the ball, and the best defensive back set to hit the free-agent market.

“The Broncos appear ready to go year-to-year with their star safety and locker room leader, just like they are going year-to-year with the head coach who utilizes Simmons’ skill set so well,” Rosenthal wrote of Denver’s star safety, eluding to the franchise tag the team is expected to give him.

This echoes Rosenthal’s thoughts from his franchise tag primer. “He has been excellent in both seasons under Broncos coach Vic Fangio, earning second-team All-Pro Football Focus honors in 2020. Like with Fangio, the Broncos may prefer to go year-to-year with Simmons, even if his play has warranted a bigger commitment.”

While it has been reported that the Broncos will tag Simmons, 850KOA’s Benjamin Allbright has also reported that the tag would be a measure to extend the negotiation window on a long-term contract, rather than using it as a one-year deal.

With that said, it is safe to wonder if Simmons would be able to replicate the same success with a different head coach in 2022 at age 28, considering his two best seasons have come under Fangio.

The second Bronco on the list, Harris, comes in at the No. 41 spot.

“If you know, you know,” Rosenthal wrote. “A master shot blocker in the paint, Harris’ game has exceeded his brand name for a while.”

Broncos Country definitely knows just how valuable Harris can be.