Yes, the decision to bring free-agent tackle Russell Okung in for a tire kicking may have a little to do with left tackle Ryan Clady. Or a lot to do with Clady.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Broncos and Clady are currently at impasse regarding his contract for 2016.
Clady is due to earn $9.5 million in 2016, the fourth year of a five-year contract signed after application of the franchise tag in 2013. So far, he has made $33 million but played in only 18 regular-season games.
Cutting him would cost only $1.2 million against the cap, and there’s no trigger that would force the Broncos to make a decision before Week One, when Clady’s salary becomes as a practical matter guaranteed. However, it would be prudent to resolve the situation before the start of the offseason program, since a fluke season-ending injury to Clady would put the Broncos on the hook for the full salary — and a cap number of $10.6 million.
If the Broncos and Clady can’t work out a new deal, a trade becomes a possibility. Teams currently looking for help at the position include the Giants, the Lions and, possibly, the Seahawks.