NFL teams are still a few days away from officially using the franchise tag on players, but the Denver Broncos aren’t waiting in making their decision:
Left tackle Ryan Clady will get the tag.
Team vice president John Elway told the Denver Post’s Mike Klis:
“We’re going to tag him. … We’d like to work something out, like we did last year. Things have changed a little bit because he’s coming off a shoulder surgery. But we like Ryan. We like him a lot as a player and we’d like to get something done.”
Denver tried to sign the three-time Pro Bowler to a contract extension before the 2012 season, but Clady reportedly rejected a five-year, $50 million deal.
The Broncos drafted Clady with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Since then, Clady has been a starter ever since, never missing a game in his five-year career. Clady earned $3.5 million in 2012; the projected salary for a franchise tagged offensive lineman is $9.7 million in 2013.
The Broncos used the franchise tag on kicker Matt Prater last season before signing him to a contract extension in June.
NFL teams have until March 4 to use the franchise tag.
Green Bay Packers release Charles Woodson
The man who beat Peyton Manning for the Heisman Trophy in 1997 is looking for work.
The 36-year-old missed nine games in 2012 with a broken collarbone. According to his agent, Woodson wants to play “for a Super Bowl contender.”
Hmmm…Super Bowl contender, you say?
Cue the “Should the Denver Broncos pursue Woodson?” talks.
The league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, Woodson signed a five-year deal worth as much as $55 million before the 2010 season. He played cornerback until last season when he moved to safety.
So…should the Denver Broncos take a chance on Woodson?
Yes. Now I know the idea of an “aging secondary” might not sit well with some, but this works because:
- The Broncos are in let’s-win-now mode; they’ve stacked the deck to make a serious run last season (2012), this upcoming season (2013), and maybe the season after that (2014). Beyond 2014, the look of this team will likely be very different.
- Woodson brings even more leadership to a team that’s still young in places (i.e. secondary). I see Woodson potentially filling the role Brian Dawkins had in Denver a few seasons ago. Yes, I know Champ Bailey is a team leader, as is Manning, but imagine what adding Woodson to the mix could do.
Despite his age and price tag, Woodson will inevitably be a hot commodity. The Broncos fit his “contender criteria,” so, if Denver is interested, this team could land its second high-profiled free agent in as many seasons.