$61 Million All-Pro Named Best Fit For Jets

The New York Jets still have a couple needs after the 2024 NFL Draft, but former All-Pro safety Justin Simmons could give one of those holes quickly.

Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon ranked the best available free agents after the draft. The list also included top landing spots for each player. Simmons was his top-ranked free agent, and mentioned the Jets as an ideal landing spot.

“Although the 2024 cycle lacked superstars at the position, teams weren’t rushing to sign Simmons while he counted against the compensatory pick formula,” Kenyon wrote. “That no longer applies after the draft. In other words, Simmons’ market should pick up swiftly now that the draft is over—depending on his price, of course.”

Simmons had previously signed a four-year, $61 million extension with the Denver Broncos. Given the current safety market, the Jets might be able to get the former All-Pro on a much cheaper deal.

Justin Simmons Is Still a Top NFL Safety

He may be nearing a downturn, but Simmons is still playing at a very high level as one of the top safeties in the league.

Simmons is a textbook late bloomer. As only a 2-star recruit out of Florida in high school, he had limited offers. He had just four noteworthy offers, and decided to attend Boston College.

Even in college Simmons flew under the radar. His ball skills were noteworthy, however, racking up eight interceptions and two forced fumbles with 229 total tackles in his career.

The Broncos took a chance on Simmons taking him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He ended up being a steal. Along with playing in at least 12 games every season, Simmons has racked up 30 career interceptions and 64 pass breakups in eight seasons. His accolades include four second-team All-Pro selections and two Pro Bowl appearances.

However, at 30 years old, it’s unclear how much Simmons has left in the tank. Pro Football Focus gave him a 67.9 grade in 2023, the second-lowest mark of his career.

Still, if 2023 was just a down year, a team like the Jets could be getting an absolute steal after the draft in Simmons.

The Jets’ Current Safety Situation

The Jets are finally getting some reinforcements at safety. However, another established veteran could take New York’s defense up a level.

Chuck Clark was an intriguing signing by the Jets before the 2023 season. However, a torn ACL during OTAs forced him to miss the entire year. Jets fans are hoping that Clark can hit the ground running.

Tony Adams was a solid player for the Jets last season. He played in 15 games, racking up 83 total tackles and three interceptions. Ashytn Davis has played a key role on special teams, but also can serve as a solid backup safety.

That’s a solid amount of depth and reliability at safety. However, if the Jets really want to take a swing on a veteran that could unlock things defensively, Simmons would make a lot of sense as a free agent signing.

If they don’t sign Simmons, the Jets should still be in pretty good shape.

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