When the New York Jets heard of the abrupt retirement of former left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, they found themselves needing to fill the position, doing so by trading to acquire former Denver Broncos tackle, Ryan Clady.
It was officially announced on April 10 that the New York Jets had acquired four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Ryan Clady from the Denver Broncos for a fifth-round pick. Clady was set to make $10.1M in 2016, but reworked his deal with the Jets upon arrival.
Clady and the Jets agreed to a one-year deal worth $6M base (up to $7.5M with incentives), with $3M of that guaranteed. The new deal also has an option year for $10M in 2017 (up to $13M based on playing time), which includes a $2.5M roster bonus.
Clady missed all but two games in 2013 with a Lisfranc injury, as well as the entirety of 2015 due to a torn ACL. Plus, the Broncos already signed Russell Okung to replace him at left tackle.
You can’t blame Denver. It was a smart business move on Denver’s part, and he has to understand that based on his recent history with injuries and cap charge over the next two seasons.
The Jets needed a left tackle desperately following the retirement of D’Brickashaw Ferguson. It’s a good move, a good deal and fits exactly what general manager Mike Maccagnan has been doing in building the Jets: sending low-round draft picks for veteran players that can produce for the Jets. So far, so good.
On Wednesday, Clady had his first interview since being traded to New York. In an article written by Darryl Slater of NJ.com, here is what Clady had to say:
"“I think it stings a little bit, a little chip on my shoulder,” he said Wednesday after the Jets’ organized team activities practice. “I feel like I’ve got something to prove. So I’m ready for the challenge.”"
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Clady is an integral part of the Jets’ offensive line in 2016.
For standing 6’6″ at 315 pounds, he is incredibly athletic and gifted at his position.
When healthy, there’s no question he is one of the best pass protectors in the NFL, just as his predecessor was.
The Jets understand that he is one key to their success and therefore are not rushing him back from his injury.
He is practicing on a limited basis and is expected to be a full participant in training camp.
Will he be Ferguson? You can’t replace ten years of not missing so much as a practice, regardless of what position you play. Will anyone ever play 2,632 consecutive baseball games again? Don’t bet on it.
So, as far as being an “Ironman,” no, he won’t be, but Clady has the talent to make us forget about his injuries. He is also drawing comparisons to Ferguson due to his demeanor and play style which should help with familiarity in the locker room, but bottom line is Clady needs to stay healthy and get it done where it counts: on the field.