The timing made sense as Clady is entering the final year of his rookie contract with unrestricted free agency looming after the season. Clady has started all 64 games since being drafted in the first round of the 2008 Draft and has earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro mentions during his brief career. In short, he’s not a player you’re rushing to drop from your roster.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that an extension isn’t likely to happen by the time training camp starts. The two teams have exchanged proposals, but they are far apart on the money and the Broncos seem content to let things play out before upping their offer to Clady.
That also makes sense. Clady made the Pro Bowl last year, but he didn’t have a great year as a pass blocker. Some of that has been blamed on Tim Tebow’s style and some on lingering issues from 2010 knee surgery with the end result that the Broncos might as well see how things play out before committing to a long contract. That’s especially true now that Peyton Manning is at quarterback and Clady will be responsible for protecting him on the blindside.
If Clady does well, the contract talks can resume or the Broncos can use the franchise tag to keep him off the market. That takes away any sense of urgency for the team and keeps the pressure on Clady to perform at his highest level during the 2012 season.