|The Broncos intend to use the franchise tag on left tackle Ryan Clady, GM John Elway said. (US Presswire)|
While Broncos general manager John Elway hopes to secure a long-term deal with the mammoth 6-7, 315-pound lineman, Elway said Friday the team intends to place the franchise tag on Clady when a two-week window for applying the designation begins next week.
Clady, a first-round pick who has started the past 80 games, underwent surgery on his right shoulder surgery several weeks ago to repair a damaged rotator cuff that hampered him during the final weeks of the season.
In 2010, Clady didn't miss any regular-season time after undergoing surgery on his knee. The Broncos and Clady broke off negotiations for a long-term contract last year before training camp.
“We'd like to work something out, like we did last year," Elway told The Denver Post. "Things have changed a little bit because he's coming off a shoulder surgery. But we like Ryan -- we like him a lot as a player.”
Regarded for his stellar pass protecting, Clady didn't allow a sack in 2012 until a Week 12 win over the Chiefs. He has improved dramatically from his rookie season in 2008 when he allowed a league-high 44 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.
Clady likely will become one of the highest-paid Broncos if he receives a multi-year contract. In 2012, the top five highest-paid tackles in the league all had cap hits of at least $10 million for the season. If the Broncos are unable to work out a long-term deal with Clady, he will receive a one-year deal for approximately $9.66 million under the tag.
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