It was widely speculated this would happen but now is it official.
The Denver Broncos have used the teams franchise tag on free agent offensive tackle Ryan Clady.
Broncos officially placed franchise tag on OT Ryan Clady.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2013
Clady will earn $9.828 million in the 2013 season under the tag. The Broncos reportedly had offered Clady a five year contact over $50 million before the 2012 season but the tackle turned it down, taking his chances that he would have a solid season protecting Peyton Manning.
The franchise tag is of the non-exclusive type meaning:
A "non-exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount of no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for the previous year, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is less. A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if he signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
Ryan Clady was drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2008 twelfth overall. Since joining the team, he has started every single game every season. This past offseason he had shoulder surgery but should be ready to go by training camp. Clady has played in three pro bowls
Clady is the only sure thing for the Broncos offensive line next season. No one knows yet what will happen with JD Walton and Dan Koppen, and the Broncos could potentially look elsewhere at right guard to replace Chris Kuper due to the injury problems he has continued to have. Rumors have had Orlando Franklin moving to the right guard position and a new offensive tackle possibly in the fold.