In order for the team to be in a position to retain a majority of its key players this offseason, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway will have to move some money around. Restructuring offensive tackle Ryan Clady's deal would help Elway in that regard.
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Broncos Prefer to Retain Clady
Wednesday, March 9
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Clady and the Broncos are continuing to renegotiate his current contract, which runs through 2017. According to Spotrac, he carries a $10.1 million cap hit in 2016 and then a $10.6 million tally the year after.
The Broncos have a little over $16.6 million available in cap room this offseason, per Spotrac. They already lost Malik Jackson, who confirmed Tuesday he's signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, per ESPN's Josina Anderson (via ESPN.com). However, Brock Osweiler, Danny Trevathan and Evan Mathis are among those who have yet to agree to new deals.
Denver's current cap space might not be enough to even secure Osweiler, let alone he and any other of the team's free agents. As a result, Elway will either have to trim salary or get Clady and DeMarcus Ware, who Rapoport also reported is in negotiations, to take less money in 2016.
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Clady has already gone on record to say he's receptive to the idea, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post:
Troy Renck @TroyRenck
#Broncos Ryan Clady told me after Super Bowl he's open to reworking contract to stay. His agent expected to meet w team on Friday.2016-2-25 20:18:10
In the event he and Elway are unable to come to an agreement, the GM will have a difficult decision to make. Clady would carry an $8.9 million cap savings in 2016, per OvertheCap.com, which would provide the Broncos with some much needed flexibility.
But there's no question Clady continues to be a key member of the offensive line, and Denver is better off having him on the roster than needing to scramble to find a replacement.