With voluntary offseason activities beginning across the landscape of the NFL, not every player makes the trek to join his teammates in what is known as the conditioning program. In the case of LT Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos, he should stay away as long as he possibly can.
The reason for this not-so-subtle recommendation is fairly simple: everyone knows what Clady is on the field. Without much debate, Clady is arguably one of the top three tackles in the NFL, and he protects QB Peyton Manning like he was the Pope.
He is also rehabbing from surgery to his torn labrum in his right shoulder and will need time to make sure that is fully healed before joining the rest of the Broncos in Dove Valley.
Most would think this was the result of him “holding out” for a long-term contract, but realistically, that has nothing to do with Clady staying away for now. The Broncos tagged the All-Pro tackle with the franchise tag for $9.828 million in 2013, and Clady made it very clear he will not sign until the summer if he can not come to terms on a new contract.
Be assured that Clady will sign, one way or another, and he will be guarding Manning yet again this season where he will prove to the Broncos that they need to show him the money.
For now, Clady must stay away, rest the shoulder, and try to stay in shape as best as possible. Everyone understands that these early offseason conditioning programs are more like weight watchers than anything else. Clady will not jeopardize his future by not taking care of himself and allowing the extended rest to get to him.
Broncos fans need not worry unless this drags out until mid-summer or if he misses the mandatory camps. That’s when the concern will become real. That is also when we will see Clady sign the franchise tag, as his days in Denver may become numbered after 2013. Let’s just hope that a fax machine is not involved this time.