ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Denver Broncos and offensive tackle Ryan Clady have agreed to a five-year deal worth $52.5 million in base salary and $33 million guaranteed. In February, the Broncos placed the franchise tag on Clady, who’s regard as one of the game’s best tackles, and at age 26, is still in the midst of his prime.
Making his value even more important to the Broncos is that he serves as the important blindside protector to quarterback Peyton Manning. Clady was selected by the Broncos with the #12 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, and over the last five seasons, he’s started 80 regular season games while being named to the Pro Bowl three times. Clady was also named a first-team All-Pro in 2009 and again in 2012. Pro Football Focus ranked Clady as the fourth-best left tackle in football in 2012.
Monday is the deadline for NFL teams to reach terms on a new deal with franchised player, and after eight NFL players received the franchise tag in March, not one of them had signed a long-term contract until Clady and the Broncos struck a deal.
For the Cincinnati Bengals, defensive end michael Johnson is essentially viewed as a player whom the team has no intentions of signing to a long-term deal now, and will let him play out this season before deciding whether to try to re-sign him, or let him walk via free agency.
Again, the deadline for teams to reach long-term deals is 4 PM EST tomorrow, but at this point, there likely won’t be any other deals reached.