Ryan Clady wasn't greedy. He was just a tough negotiator.
"You only go through this once," Clady said Sunday evening. "Hopefully, I get to do this again, but we'll see. But the guarantee and the structure of the first three years was much better than it was last summer."
The Broncos and their star left tackle agreed Sunday to a five-year, $52.5 million contract, with a maximum value of $57.5 million, and $33 million in guarantees over the first three years. Part of that $33 million is fully guaranteed; another part is guaranteed against injury.
The deal puts Clady among the NFL's top two or three offensive linemen in pay.
"I'm getting blown up (with phone calls) right now," Clady said. "I'm ready to chill. I'm glad
it's over. Glad to be with Broncos long-term."
A year after the first round of their contract negotiations broke off, leaving Clady to play the 2012 season on a club-friendly $3.5 million salary, the Broncos and Peyton Manning's blindside protector found common ground through compromise.
The Broncos significantly improved the guaranteed portion of their offer from a year ago, while Clady reduced his annual and total value requests. The biggest gap a year ago was within the first three years of the contract.
Early last week, the Broncos improved their five-year offer from $50 million to $51.5 million. On Thursday, the Broncos submitted their final proposal that upped the total value to $52.5 million. Clady slept on it a couple days and accepted the deal Sunday. He can make another $5 million over the history of the contract through incentives.
With Clady's contract situation settled, the next step is to get him healthy. To continue his ironman streak that is at 80 regular-season games (83 counting the playoffs), the Broncos' first-round pick in the 2008 draft will have to finish his recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Clady suffered the injury late in the 2012 season.
"It's good," Clady said. "Not 100 percent but it's getting better."
He is not sure when he will be cleared to play but he is expected to miss the first week or two of training camp. However, the Broncos and Clady are confident he will be ready to play in the Sept. 5 season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
Read more:Broncos sign Ryan Clady to five-year deal for more than $50 million - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_23659776/ryan-clady-broncos-close-new-contract-deadline-day#ixzz2Z5BvFgKw