The New York Jets needed a new left tackle. The Denver Broncos, with an extra left tackle, needed salary cap space.
So it only made sense that both teams solved their issues Saturday as the Broncos traded four-time Pro Bowl tackle Ryan Clady to the Jets, who receive an immediate replacement for the recently-retired D’Brickashaw Ferguson, according to a report from ESPN.
The Broncos will receive a fifth-round draft pick while also sending the Jets a seventh-rounder.
Clady has missed most of the two of the last three seasons with injuries, including all of 2015 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last May. But if he’s healthy – and given the timing of the ACL injury, he should be cleared for full participation soon – he could wind up being a steal for the Jets.
Clady, 29, became expendable last month when the Broncos signed former Seahawk Russell Okung. The team had held off on cutting Clady, even though it desperately needed to clear salary cap room, in hopes of finalizing a trade this spring.
The Jets became that trade partner as Ferguson, who never missed a start over his 10-year career, announced his decision on Friday to retire.
For the Broncos, the move frees up about $9 million salary cap in space that the team could need in its pursuit of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and, thinking longer term, for a future massive deal for outside linebacker Von Miller.