Statesman wire services
DENVER The Denver Broncos locked up Peyton Mannings blindside protector Sunday, signing former Boise State left tackle Ryan Clady to a five-year deal worth up to $57.5 million.
Im getting blown up (with phone calls) right now, Clady told The Denver Post. Im ready to chill. Im glad its over. Glad to be with Broncos long-term.
Denver and Clady have been at odds over a long-term contract for more than a year. Had he not signed by Monday, he would have played under a one-year, $9.823 million deal because of the franchise tag.
Instead, Clady has a deal that guarantees him at least $33 million and should keep him in Denver through the end of Mannings playing days.
Its a better deal than the one the tackle turned down last season, when the guarantees the Broncos offered came in at about half of what hell make under his new contract.
Clady, a first-round draft pick in 2008, is still recovering from surgery to his right shoulder and is expected to miss the start of training camp, which begins July 25.
If he returns to full health, it will resolve one of Denvers many issues on the offensive line.
Left guard Zane Beadles was the only starting offensive lineman to come out of last season unscathed. Orlando Franklin (toe, shoulder), Chris Kuper (ankle) and J.D. Walton (knee) also needed operations, and of the three, only Franklin was at full health during team minicamps this spring.