Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady (78) against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Strength From Within the Denver Broncos Roster: Ryan Clady

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It may be the off season, but Dove Valley is in full swing preparation as this year’s free agency period approaches on March 12 and the 2013 NFL Draft on April 25-27th. Each team in the league will be looking at filling the gaps in their rosters, and yes, the Denver Broncos will too.

Additionally, it is also important to keep their eyes on their own guys this off season and get some fresh ink on old contracts. Ryan Clady played a huge role as Denver’s left tackle last year, but suffered an injury in the Broncos’ final regular season game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Clady did play in the Broncos’ 38-35 double-overtime loss against the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, he was scheduled to play in the Pro Bowl, but sat out because of the right shoulder injury.

Along with others, Clady is now an eligible unrestricted free agent. With the Denver Broncos having a breakout season last year, you can bet that there will be some teams hunting in our territory. It may not be with all our players on free agency, but I believe that Clady will remain in orange and blue (and I mean Broncos orange and blue). Clady took to his Twitter account on Tuesday and responded to a fan’s question on if he would want to move the Chicago Bears. Like his play action, he was quick and to the point in his response.

“Not happening man.” – Ryan Clady via Twitter.

Speaking of the boys in blue, expect VP of Football Operations John Elway to have the final say. It is my prediction that if the Broncos do not re-sign Clady, they may slap a franchise tag on him. I believe it all stems from his right shoulder surgery recovery this off season.

In early 2010, Clady had undergone a major knee surgery, and now with this shoulder surgery along with him becoming an eligible free agent; the Broncos can keep an eye on Clady’s recovery before discussing something more long term.

Don’t count him out though, there is no better time for recovery than the off season Clady has proved his worth in Mile High, and I believe keeping Peyton Manning’s blind-side protector will be the Bronco’s number one priority. Again, March 12 starts the free agency period, and Bronco fans will be watching every move the team makes.

What weapons will they pick up to take the Broncos farther this year? With the Baltimore Ravens not only taking the Broncos out of the playoffs, but now the Ravens are the Super Bowl champs. When the Ravens won, a lot of people looked my way and said, “It could have been the Broncos”. Yes, and it will be. I think the Broncos have a score to settle and are going to come out hungry this year in all that they do. Expect John Elway and John Fox to make some decisions on players this year that will capitalize on the strengths of the team to take them all the way.

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