After the Broncos signed tackle Russell Okung, it seemed that a trade of tackle Ryan Clady would come next. It may indeed happen eventually, but for now there’s no indication that it’s happening imminently.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Broncos and any potentially interested teams are keeping their cards close to the vest — to the point that it’s impossible to even know how many teams would be inclined to make a deal. The best guest at this point is that four or five teams would entertain the possibility, to varying degrees. Some teams feels so strongly about keeping their draft picks that they’d never pull the trigger on a trade for a guy who has played 18 games in three seasons.
Also, Clady is on the books for $9.5 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017. The contract would need to be adjusted to facilitate a trade, something that the Broncos and Clady have been unable to do.
There’s still a chance, in theory, that the Broncos and Clady will agree on a reduction in his pay, which would give them both Clady and Okung under contract for 2016. In theory, Okung and his ridiculous contract could then be traded to a team looking for a left tackle, or a right tackle.
Given that the NFL is driven by deadlines, the one most relevant to Clady arrives with the launch of the offseason program on April 18. If Clady shows up and begins participating in events that eventually culminate in Organized Team Activities (i.e., practice without pads), the Broncos will risk owing Clady the full $9.5 million if he suffers a season-ending injury during the process.
Since that’s precisely what happened to Clady in 2016, the Broncos likely won’t want to take any chances — and Clady likely will want to force their hand by showing up.
So the Broncos have 30 days to work this out.