NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady (78) prepares to pass block on Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jets Trade For Broncos LT Ryan Clady

It didn’t take long for the New York Jets to replace D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Barely 24 hours after the reliable left tackle announced his shock retirement from the NFL, the Jets made their move, trading a fifth-round pick to the Denver Broncos for tackle Ryan Clady and Denver’s seventh-round selection.

Whatever roster move the Jets were planning to make, they were always going to be forced into a downgrade at the position. The franchise has lost a former fourth overall pick, who did not miss a single snap during a very respectable ten-year career that yielded three trips to the Pro Bowl.

In exchange, Gang Green has landed Clady, a younger player with the size, skill and prior accolades to rival Ferguson, but who has only been able to finish one of his last four seasons without succumbing to injury.

His inability to stay on the field has led some to consider him unworthy of his $10 million/season contract. But the Jets made short work of that figure, restructuring Clady to a $6 million deal with $3 million guaranteed in 2016, with a salary escalating into the low teens over the following two seasons.

The trade could have some major implications for the Broncos as well. So far this offseason, the defending Super Bowl champions have been unsuccessful – and sometimes unwilling – in snagging a new starting quarterback. A possible trade for Colin Kaepernick fell through to the tune of about $5 million in contractual disputes, raising the possibility that John Elway and the Broncos could again pursue their man with their newfound cap space.

Clady is the second O-lineman the Broncos have lost this offseason, after swing tackle Ryan Harris was picked up by the Steelers. Without the ever-aware Peyton Manning under center anymore, it may not matter who starts at quarterback if he has no experienced outside blockers to protect him.

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