Two months ago to the day, I wrote an article titled The Broncos, Ryan Clady and the Value Of a Left Tackle. The Denver Broncos had opened exploratory talks with Left Tackle Ryan Clady for a contract extension due to the fact that 2012 is the last year of his rookie deal.
Today it was reported by the Denver Post that the Broncos have offered Clady's representation, Pat Dye of Pro File Sports, a 5-year deal worth $50 Million, with $28 Million guaranteed. That is Top-5 money.
Mike Klis goes on to provide the fact that the franchise-tag salary for Offensive Linemen this year is $9.3 million.
Apparently, Clady's camp is chasing a salary commensurate with Joe Thomas, the Browns Tackle who signed
Ryan, who's been to two Pro Bowls in his 5 seasons under a six-year deal, hasn't exactly played like a Top-5 Left Tackle. I have pointed out my thoughts in the article linked above, but I can see the reasons behind this story.
The Broncos want to keep their Left Tackle and are trying to secure their future at the Offensive Line's most important position. If they can get a deal done now, it would be cost effective in the long haul.
From Clady's aspect, sure it's Top-5 money right now, but by the 3rd year it won't be.
Both sides are gambling right now and this contract may not get done, so don't hold your breath.
The Broncos have the option to wait and see if Ryan is actually back healthy and can dominate like his first two seasons. They can also use the Franchise Tag on him. Clady will turn 26 a few days before the season opener and is in his prime football years.
The Left Tackle is betting he will bounce back and show that he deserves to earn a top salary.
Either way, unless the Broncos up the ante or get creative with the up front money, a deal isn't likely to happen very soon.
Clady is one of the better Pass Blockers in the NFL, he just hasn't shown it lately. I am betting that he will have a great year. His patella injury from last year is fully healed and he will be blocking for a pocket passer, where the Linemen's assignment is defined and not ad-libbed.