Left tackle Ryan Clady and the Denver Broncos are progressing in their race against the NFL clock to reach a long-term contract extension.
Clady, a three-time Pro Bowl blocker and the blindside protector for Peyton Manning in Denver, wants a new contract but declined a deal offering $10 million per season. A free agent entering the offseason, the Broncos used the franchise tag to retain Clady when contract talks halted. He'll earn $9.8 million in 2013 if the two sides can't strike a deal before the NFL-imposed July 15 deadline.
Clady would be in elite territory alongside Cleveland Browns All-Pro Joe Thomas as the league's highest-paid left tackles if he completes a deal that would reportedly be worth $11.25 million per season for five years.
The Broncos would be required to include a 20 percent salary bump if Clady is retained via the franchise tag again in 2014 at what would be a one-year, $11.8 million deal. However, both sides are said to prefer a multiyear agreement.
Clady has been idle most of the offseason, recovering from right shoulder surgery, and might not be back on the field until August 15.