The Denver Broncos and Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady agreed to a new, long-term contract on Sunday.
Clady’s new five-year, $52.5 million deal could be pushed as high as $57.5 million if Clady reaches two more Pro Bowls, and will pay him $33 million in guaranteed money. That means a whopping 63 percent of the contract is guaranteed and it makes him the third-highest paid left tackle in the NFL behind Joe Thomas and Jason Peters.
Clady is recovering from shoulder surgery and was scheduled to to earn $9.8 million this season because the Broncos placed the franchise tag on him for this year. The two sides came to an agreement before the July 15 deadline to sign franchise players to long-term deals and have those contracts count toward the 2013 salary cap.
All reports from the inside suggested that Denver and Clady were far apart in negotiations until recently and the two sides got a deal worked out very quickly.
Clady is the first player to be given the franchise tag this offseason and sign a long-term deal and he could be the only one to do so. The Kansas City Chiefs and tackle Branden Albert almost certainly won’t be able to get a deal done, while Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is another guy who probably won’t get a deal done either.
The Broncos getting the Clady deal done is huge, since he protects the blind side of 37-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning. Now Manning is sure to have his back protected for the remainder of his career. The Broncos are clearly trying to go all out over the next few years to win a Super Bowl with Manning under center.
The 26-year-old Clady was the 12th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Boise State. He has never missed a start in his career (80 regular season games, three postseason).