Ever since signing his huge contract extension, offensive tackle Ryan Clady has had a bad string of luck. He signed a five-year, $52.5 million deal in the summer of 2013.
He started two games that year, before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury. The Denver Broncos went on to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII.
Clady played a full season in 2014 and he earned yet another Pro Bowl selection. And when the news that Gary Kubiak was hired to be the Broncos' new head coach a little more than a year ago, it portended well for Clady, whom Mike Shanahan drafted in the first round in 2008 because of his ability in the zone blocking scheme.
At the time, Clady was very excited about the opportunity to go back to the scheme he was drafted for.
“I like it," Clady said last April. "As a tackle, I like to be able to show off my skill in the zone scheme for sure.”
It was only a short time later that Clady tore his ACL in OTAs and was placed on injured reserve. He'll miss the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl once again.
His loss has impacted the Broncos significantly. But with a 2016 salary cap figure of $10.1 million, it stands to reason that GM John Elway might be hesitant to pay that much money for a guy who's consistently struggled to stay healthy since he got paid.
For Clady's part, however, it sounds like he's willing to restructure his contract, to stay in the Mile High City.
That's good news. The Broncos have struggled on the outside of their offensive line this year, without their five-time Pro Bowl left tackle.
But when healthy, Clady is one of the best left tackles in the NFL. If he's willing to restructure, which would allow Elway to sign more free agents, it makes it a no-brainer for the Broncos, provided they can find common ground.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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