Ryan Clady's $6.5 million gamble in 2012 seems to have paid off.
A year after rejecting the Denver Broncos' five-year, $50 million contract offer in the 2012 offseason, Clady received his latest offer from the Broncos Monday. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Denver's offer has increased to an average above $10 million, which would effectively make him the third-highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL to the Eagles' Jason Peters and the Browns' Joe Thomas.
Clady played out the 2012 season on the last year of his rookie contract, with a $3.5 million salary. Before hitting free agency this offseason, the Broncos placed the franchise tag on Clady, guaranteeing him a 2013 salary of $9.8 million, but limiting his ability to talk to other NFL teams.
The franchise tag also limited Denver's ability to negotiate a long-term deal with Clady. They have until July 15th; after that, Clady must finish his season on the 2013 tender offer.
This loosening of their year-long contract deadlock is coming just in time.
However, the two sides are not out of the woods yet. Brandon Krisztal of 104.3 FM The Fan Denver suggests that Clady's team is cautiously optimistic that a deal will get done, but haven't signed because they aren't totally satisfied with the structure and guarantees of the first three years of the deal.
If the two sides can get those differences worked out, Clady will be under contract through 2017, and Peyton Manning will feel plenty comfortable finishing his career in Denver, every snap of the way.
We just hope the Broncos don't wait until the midnight hour to hammer out the details.