Former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Ryan Clady is coming back one last time to retire as a member of the team that made him a first-round draft pick in 2008. The Boise State product was sensational early on in his career, though injuries did hamper him and he eventually spent a year with the New York Jets.
Even with the missed time from injuries, in his eight years as a Bronco, Clady went to four Pro Bowls.
“[Public relations director] Patrick Smyth called me a little over a week ago and said the Broncos wanted to bring me out and honor me and wanted me to retire a Bronco, essentially,’’ Clady said, per Mike Klis of 9News. “I was a bit surprised. But I’m definitely honored to come back and be recognized, see some of my former [teammates] and a lot of my friends still live there in Denver. It’ll be a good time.’’
It’s well earned. When healthy, Clady was a top-five offensive tackle in the NFL. Though injuries are always frustrating, his teammates knew how valuable he was.
“Well deserved,” said center Matt Paradis. “He was a special player here. I know Denver’s a special place to him and I’m glad to see come back and be honored and be recognized.”
“He didn’t talk much but we became friends as the years went on,” noted wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. “And the work he put in on the field and off the field, he was the best offensive linemen I’ve seen come through here with the Denver Broncos and I’ve been here eight years.”
Klis speculated that Clady would have been a potential Hall of Fame pick if he’d been healthy for all nine years he was in the league, rather than basically just playing six real seasons.