Broncos offensive lineman Ryan Clady blocks for Knowshon Moreno.
That was fast.
On the same day D’Brickashaw Ferguson made his retirement official, the Jets traded for his replacement, dealing for former Broncos tackle Ryan Clady, according to a source.
Gang Green is giving up a 2016 fifth-round pick in exchange for the tackle and will also receive a 2016 seventh-rounder, according to a source. Those are the same terms the Jets struck with the Bears a year ago in a deal for wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Clady, a four-time Pro Bowler, started 16 games in 2014 for the Broncos but missed last year due to a torn ACL. He was scheduled to earn $ 9.5 million in 2016 and $ 10 million in 2017, but is re-structuring his deal with the Jets, the Daily News learned. Gang Green had been talking with the Broncos and feared they had lost leverage once news of Ferguson’s retirement surfaced.
Clady, 29, became expendable when the Broncos signed Russell Okung.
Marshall, who was teammates with Clady in Denver, was pleased by the acquisition.
“Man can’t wait to strap it up with my brother and one of my all time favorite teammates @ryanclady #jetnation welcome him,” Marshall wrote on Instagram.
News broke Friday that Ferguson, 32, was going to hang up his cleats. The stalwart left tackle had never missed a snap due to injury and started the Jets’ last 160 games at left tackle. His surprise retirement meant the Jets had holes at both quarterback and left tackle with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s status still up in the air. However, Ferguson retiring means the Jets did save $ 9.1 million against the cap, some of which will now go toward Clady.
Ferguson announced his retirement on Saturday on Twitter.
“My Fans, as I considered the words I would say to you, I recognize a simple truth: It just isn’t easy saying goodbye,” Ferguson wrote.
Though he did not mention long-term health concerns in his letter, Ferguson last year noted that the “Concussion” movie opened his eyes to the brain injury risks in football and was openly critical of the league’s handling of brain injury information.
Jets owner Woody Johnson complimented the consistent tackle for his service to the Jets.
“There are a few things you hope for when you select a player fourth overall in the NFL draft,” Johnson said in a statement on the Jets’ website. “First, you want him to be a responsible citizen and role model. Second, you want him to be a leader in the locker room. Third, you want him to be reliable while performing at a high level for a number of seasons. D’Brickashaw has exceeded each of these expectations during his career and will be remembered as one of the finest players in Jets history.”
Ferguson was the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft and has been slotted in the left tackle spot ever since. He leaves big shoes for Clady to fill.
Though Ferguson’s performance had declined over recent seasons, he still was effective.
In Clady, the Jets have a player with upside. Not only did he miss all of 2015 with a torn ACL but a Lisfranc injury cost him 14 games in 2013 as well. That’s a stark difference from Ferguson, who was always on the field. But when healthy, he’s been effective, making four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams in his career.
The Jets have an agreement in principle to re-sign backup Ben Ijalana, according to a source, though Clady is certainly a more attractive option than Ferguson’s old backup, who has never started an NFL game.