Of the eight 2013 franchise players, only one signed a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline. But Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady thought it might not happen for him.
“Early in the offseason I thought it would get done,” Clady said in a conference call with the media. “But there were times where I thought it possibly couldn’t get done, especially with the market being where it is, and other franchise players not really getting deals done. So, there was a time when I thought it wouldn’t get done, but [talks] definitely picked up this last week or so.”
Some would say that talks picked up in part because the Broncos needed some good news after a pair of embarrassing front-office DUI incidents, which included ridiculously high blood-alcohol concentrations for two key employees, Matt Russell and Tom Heckert.
Others would say it was coincidental, and that the Broncos all along planned to protect their investment in Peyton Manning by making an investment in Clady.
At a base deal of $52.5 million over five years with $33 million guaranteed, the investment is not insignificant. Indeed, not many non-quarterbacks are getting deals that average more than $10 million per year, and Clady has done just that.
“I think this is a big year for us, as a team,” Clady said. “We definitely have a lot of expectations: Super Bowl or bust, for the most part. It’s a lot of pressure, unlike last year where we kind of just rolled in and tried to get things together. We’re trying to know what we have to get done at this point.”
Broncos fans will be happy to hear that. Far happier than hearing about yet another DUI charge.