As of last Sunday morning the Denver Broncos were teetering right at the salary cap limit. Unable to do much aside from cut someone or cross their fingers in hopes that Ryan Clady's team came to play ball and get a deal done.
Then the deal happened and it was announced to the sweet sound of five-years, $57.5 million with $33 million of that guaranteed.
A glimpse into what that means in 2013 for the Broncos shows us that Clady has surpassed Champ Bailey and become the second highest paid NFL player in Denver. Joel Corry of The National Football Post did a great job of summarizing the deal earlier today:
Clady’s deal contains $33 million in guarantees. $15 million is fully guaranteed, which consists of a $10.5 million July 19 roster bonus, $3 million signing bonus and $1.5 million 2013 base salary. His $8 million 2014 base salary, $8.5 million 2015 base salary and $1.5 million fifth day of the 2015 league year roster bonus are guaranteed for injury only. The 2014 and 2015 base salaries become fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year in each specific contract year (i.e.; 2015 base salary becomes fully guaranteed on approximately March 15, 2015). These guarantees do not contain offsets. Clady also has unguaranteed $9.5 million and $10 million base salaries in 2016 and 2017.
What that means to fans outside of the Clady household is that the team now has at least $7,416,581 in cap space (if not a tad more).
However, camp starts in just under seven days and the Broncos only have 89 signed contracts.
First round draft pick Sylvester Williams has yet to sign. Now if his deal is identical to the contract received by 2012's 28th overall draft pick , we can expect Williams to get as much as four years at a total of $7,499,250 including $3.894 million bonus, $6,086,625 of which is guaranteed. That would be a $1.3635 cap hit for 2013.
That leaves a lot of money in the team's pocket to play with, even after you factor in that a college free agent or two may make the roster. Not to mention some expensive veterans could lose their spot on the team.