Ryan Clady retires after 9 seasons in NFL

New York Jets tackle Ryan Clady (78) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Ryan Clady, the talented and towering tackle whose nine-year NFL career was checkered with injuries, is retiring from football.

”I’m excited about what life holds for me going forward,” Clady wrote Tuesday on Twitter, where he thanked the Broncos and team owner Pat Bowlen for bringing him to an organization where he was ”blessed to experience eight great years, four Pro Bowls and a world championship.”

The Broncos selected him 12th overall in the 2008 draft out of Boise State, where Clady made a pivotal block on the Statue of Liberty 2-point conversion play that stunned Oklahoma in the January 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Among a dying breed of plug-and-play tackles in the NFL before colleges turned so heavily to spread offenses, Clady allowed just half a sack in his first 20 NFL games.

But injuries slowed him down and the two-time All-Pro missed both of Denver’s Super Bowl appearances in recent years, first with a foot injury and then with a knee injury.

He also sustained a knee injury in the offseason early in his career that robbed him of some of his lateral movement for a couple of seasons even though he didn’t miss any games.

Clady signed a $52.5 million, five-year contract in 2013 but would play in just 18 games over the next three seasons before the Broncos traded him to the Jets, where a shoulder injury ended his 2016 season in November. He underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and the Jets declined his option for this season.

Clady said several teams showed interest in him this summer and he wanted to see if the start of training camps ”would inspire the passion I need to perform at the standards that I established for myself during my nine-year career.”

Not sensing that spark, Clady called it a career.

John Elway called Clady a “great player for the Broncos for many years,” tweeting he was ”as dominant as there was as an LT in pass pro. Congrats on an outstanding career, Ryan !!!”

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