When the Denver Broncos brought Russell Okung to town to talk contract, people were stunned to learn he was representing himself during negotiations. He signed a very team-friendly deal that quickly became a sounding board for agents around the league touting the deal as a major reason players should never go without representation.
A few weeks later and unable to renegotiate Ryan Clady’s deal, the Broncos dealt him and a 7th round pick to the New York Jets for a paltry 5th rounder. Pittance for a former all-pro left tackle who likely would have fit well under Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme.
That’s how it all played out anyway, but we really never knew or asked how Clady felt about all of that. Well, in a recent interview, Clady finally let his feelings be known.
“Obviously, Seattle didn’t want Okung,” Clady told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “But obviously Denver wanted him. I don’t feel like he should have [gone] in there without an agent, maybe. It’s not exactly the greatest deal ever put together [for] a tackle. But, it is what it is. You got to move on. . . . I’m here now and I’m ready to prove myself.”
Clady is still respected by most Broncos fan as a solid left tackle who had a fine career in Denver. It’s not hard to understand his point of view.
It seems Clady even wanted to stay in Denver after the Broncos picked up Okung, but John Elway had some tough choices to make with the salary cap up against the wall and Von Miller needing a major contract.
Broncos, who were up against the cap, deal Ryan Clady to the Jets, who needed a tackle, and Denver frees up some much needed money— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 9, 2016
“I had some optimism that possibly I could come back,” Clady said. “Then, the offer they gave me was no guarantee. Pretty much like, ‘Here . . . or leave.'”
Who can blame Clady for taking the second option? At that point it becomes business and the business had to take him elsewhere.
Okung has his own point of view and is quite happy with the contract he signed, so as Clady said, it is what it is. We still wish you the best, Ryan Clady!