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Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) celebrates after sacking Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the first half on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

DENVER — Broncos safety Justin Simmons was named a second-team All Pro by The Associated Press on Friday, marking the second time in his career to earn the honor. 

Simmons, who was drafted by the Broncos in the third round in 2016, has been considered one of the best safeties in the league the last few years. This season, he totaled 12 passes defensed, 80 tackles and five interceptions. He also had a career high 1.5 sacks and four tackles for loss. Simmons signed a four-year, $61 million contract this past offseason that made him, at the time, the highest-paid safety in the NFL. He joins Steve Atwater and Billy Thompson as the only Broncos safeties to earn multiple All-Pro honors. 

Tennessee's Kevin Byard and Buffalo's Jordan Payo were voted as the first-team safeties. Simmons tied for the third-highest votes along with Arizona's Budda Baker and Buffalo's Micah Hyde. 

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