With less than 24 hours remaining in a very quiet period for long-term, franchise-tag negotiations, the Denver Broncos made a big splash on Sunday night by signing left tackle Ryan Clady to a monster, $57.5 million deal that CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports.
The contract also has $33 million in guaranteed money and has a base value of $52.5 million. Per La Canfora, if Clady makes the All-Pro team twice during the length of the deal, he'll earn the additional $5 million. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the new deal.
The tackle hasn't missed a start since being drafted by the Broncos with the 12th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft and has three Pro Bowls and two All-Pros to his name.
Clady appeared particularly valuable in 2012, when Peyton Manning joined the Broncos in free agency. With Manning coming off four neck surgeries, protecting him in the pocket was vital to Denver's offensive success. Manning was sacked just 21 times last year, and Clady, part of a very young and talented offensive line in Denver, helped pave the way for protection so Manning could find Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
As La Canfora noted on Twitter, the Clady deal was a difficult one to pull off. The tackle wanted premier blindside protection money, but we haven't seen a lot of huge left-tackle deals this offseason. Still, the Broncos recognized how important Clady is to their short- and long-term success as well as Clady's recovery from a major injury -- Clady injured his patellar tendon but didn't miss a game -- and his status as the franchise player to get him a fair deal.