Kiszla: Hey, John Elway. Has safety Justin Simmons shown enough to get richly deserved raise after saving Broncos’ victory against Miami?

Isn’t it time we placed great respect, not to mention serious money, on the name of Broncos security Justin Simmons?

On another Sunday afternoon, when it seemed like Denver was out to find a way to lose, Simmons put an end to any idea of ​​a Miami comeback and all the nonsense that can overwhelm a faltering NFL team by grabbing an interception to a 20-13 win to seal The Broncos are desperately needed.

“Just knew they were going to take a chance there in the end zone with (Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick) being so aggressive and just found a way to crash with football,” said Simmons.

Money doesn’t have to boast. And Simmons is money.

So why isn’t football operations director John Elway paying him?

While Denver’s defense looked dazed and confused by the FitzMagic wielded by Miami’s cunning backup quarterback, Simmons stepped in and brutally stepped out for a pass intended for Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker in the end zone with 63 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

“He’s one of the best protections in the league and I’m lagging behind,” said Broncos linebacker Malik Reed.

Simmons is All-Pro material.

So why did the knuckles voting for the Pro Bowl knock him off a year ago?

Beats me. I can’t get a vote. Please file your grievances elsewhere.

If you want my truth, if Simmons’ peers don’t give him proper respect, that’s their problem. Who cares?

But if Elway isn’t ready to give the 27-year-old security a long-term contract, that’s a whole nuther deal, not to mention a problem for a franchise that has struggled to do the right thing since winning. from Super Bowl 50. almost five years ago. Elway, who may have been harder to beat at the negotiating table than on the field, hit the franchise tag on Simmons for 2020 at a cost of $ 11.44 million, when the tough boss and his talented security couldn’t reach a handshake on a contract that everyone would make you happy.

Protections Budda Baker of Arizona and Tyrann Mathieu of the Chiefs both receive compensation of $ 14 million per year. Simmons, who has already produced four interceptions this season, is equal to either guy.

Please show Simmons the money. Let’s stop messing around. He has earned the respect inherent in a long-term contract.

Simmons can’t possibly be turned down for the Pro Bowl again this season, right? The real question should be, how does he start building a career where Simmons is undoubtedly a roster for All-Pro accolades every year?

“Clearly, you strive to be a Pro Bowl, All-Pro player in every way,” said Simmons. “But the bigger picture for myself is to make sure I do my job at a high level, do what’s asked of me as a safety for our defense, and then make sure I bring some guys.”

Simmons makes teammates better. That’s how a leader rolls.

After Drew “Vapor” Lock threw a mindless interception on Denver’s first offensive possession of the game, a poor turnover that quickly gave Miami a 7-0 lead, the Broncos came to rest. They started scratching and clawing back with a fierce pass rush, grounding and pounding with cutting runs from Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon, heading for something we all feared this team had forgotten how to do:

Take a lead in the locker room at half-time. Hold the presses! The Broncos advanced admission on 13-10.

“I’d always like to get the early lead, that’s for sure,” said Denver coach Vic Fangio.

When the Broncos can play with a head start rather than a track in desperation, they can be the first team Elway built. Equally important, Denver pass rushers can pin their orange ears back to not only make quarterback Tua Tagovailoa very blue with sacks, but also chase the ballyhoed rookie to the Miami bench early in the fourth quarter with tattered confidence.

Now that’s the formula for getting Lock to develop patiently and for the Broncos to win more regularly.

“We would certainly like to play that style of play on both sides of the ball,” said Fangio.

After four consecutive matches in which a once-dominant defense netted 30 or more points, including an embarrassing 37-12 shellacking by loathed Raid-uhs, this was just the biceps-bending feat the Broncos needed to rebuild faith and to renew confidence. teammates.

What changed?

“It was just a little bit upset about how the past week has gone and we just know we’re better than that,” said Simmons.

Yes, the Denver D missed linebacker Von Miller, whose ankle injury left this team feeling like it was being haunted by dark clouds before this weird NFL season even started. But the Vonster is the Broncos’ glorious past, and after an injury on the wrong side of his 30th birthday, Miller may have to take a salary to stay with the team in 2021.

Simmons is not only the current leader of this defense, but also his future.

Respect his name, Mr. Elway.

And we all know the one and only way to RESPECT in professional sports.

It’s spelled MONEY.