Ryan Clady Doesn’t Think Much of Okung’s Deal

Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady (78) before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady (78) before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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The writing was laid out out the wall in big bold letters when Russell Okung infamously negotiated his own deal to join the Broncos; It was the end for Ryan Clady in a Denver Broncos uniform.  The former All-Pro left tackle spent the first eight seasons of his career in a Denver Broncos uniform, but since signing a huge contract in 2013, he has only played in 19 games, missing almost all of the 2013 campaign, and the entire 2015 season due to separate injuries.  Coincidentally, the Denver Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl in each of those two seasons, winning the latter of the two this past February.

Before the Broncos inked Okung in free agency this season, they had been negotiating with Ryan Clady about taking a pay cut to return to the team.  Clady had been a great player when healthy, but no longer warranted the top level salary he was on the books for in 2016.  Clady balked at the idea of a pay cut, and Elway moved quickly on Okung when Okung reached out to the Broncos to gauge interest.

Okung’s deal was extremely unique, as he elected to forego formal representation and handle the negotiations himself, working to secure a deal he found fair for himself.  The deal that was reached was extremely team friendly, as it essentially amounted to two separate deals.  The first deal was basically a

Jul 28, 2016; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung (73) reacts during training camp drills held at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2016; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung (73) reacts during training camp drills held at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

$5 million, one year commitment for the Broncos that even allowed them an out before the offseason program ended that would have left them on the hook for nothing at all.  The second part of the deal is a team option that kicks in an additional four years and roughly $48 million.  This contract was not seen as the best possible deal he could have got but Okung had no problems with the deal he negotiated.  When asked if he was happy with his deal, he had this to say;

"“Yes. The best deal in the best place.”"

Okung then elaborated further about negotiating his own deal;

"“I thought it was a great opportunity. I think in a lot of various areas for guys, they kind of depend on people to do certain things. Some of it is at a level of aptitude. Some of it is a level of preparedness as well. There a lot of things that need to happen within the CBA, within governance as well, too. Still a proponent for it and I would do it all over again. It’s a great opportunity.”"

Monday marked the first time Ryan Clady voiced his opinion on the Okung contract, and PER Pro Football Talk, he had this to say;

"“Obviously, Seattle didn’t want Okung,” Clady told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “But obviously Denver wanted him. I don’t feel like he should have [gone] in there without an agent, maybe. It’s not exactly the greatest deal ever put together [for] a tackle."

Talking about another man’s money is almost against the unwritten code between players.  Simply stated, if Okung is happy with the deal that he got, then that is really all that matters.

Perhaps there are some hurt feelings between Clady and the Broncos, as Clady surely wanted a chance to go out there for the World Champions and try and win another Super Bowl.  This sounds like words spoken by someone who is angry and bitter with the way things shook out.

Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady (78) prepares to pass block on Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady (78) prepares to pass block on Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Quite frankly though, the Broncos owed nothing to Ryan Clady as he has mostly collected checks from the sidelines two of the previous three seasons.  Perhaps he should worry about getting and staying healthy and helping the Jets reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010, instead of worrying about the contracts that other players are getting, good or bad.

The Broncos are thrilled to have Okung, and from everything he has said he is thrilled to be wearing Orange and Blue.

"“Honestly, I’m very blessed to be here and very fortunate` to be here. We have a chance to do some amazing things this year, especially on the offensive line front. I got a chance to do  some things that I haven’t been done here in a while. I’m really looking forward to that.”"

Okung, along with Matt Paradis are looking to be the consistent anchors and leaders of what look to be a very strong offensive line this season.  The Broncos got what they consider to be a great deal on Okung, and Okung feels he got the deal he wanted.  There’s nothing wrong with that, so all that can be said to Ryan Clady is mind your own business.

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