The New York Jets have a ton of decisions to make but in the grand scheme of things, offensive tackle Ryan Clady is worth keeping around for 2017.
As the New York Jets prepare for a huge offseason to bolster their team for next season, they have lots of tough decisions in order to not only get under the NFL salary cap but make the right personnel decisions. The truth of the matter is, massive changes are coming as no one is really safe since the Jets need to get rid of lackluster players and especially those that don’t put them in a position to win football games.
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Offensive tackle Ryan Clady had a pretty disappointing season, to say the least. He wasn’t consistent and once again got hit by the injury bug. While it’s expected Clady could be on the chopping block as a salary cap casualty, it actually makes sense to restructure his contract and keep him around for next season.
It’s not like free agency has a plethora of quality offensive tackles that can come right in and take care of business. Clady, when healthy, can be a good offensive tackle. It’s worth the risk that hopefully, he can play in more football games next season.
As per Spotrac, Clady is set to earn $10M in base salary this season but due to how his contract is designed, the Jets could cut him as his salary is not guaranteed. He’s also eligible for a roster bonus of $1M if he’s still on the team by the end of Wednesday, February 15th, 2017.
It makes sense to keep Clady since there are no real replacements at all and this year’s draft class won’t have any premier offensive tackles that are elite. While it would make sense to draft an offensive lineman with their No. 6 overall pick, the Jets might opt to go cornerback or even break the mold and take the best available offensive player to bolster their offense.
Overall, it’s best to keep Clady under a restructured contract with a pay cut due to his inconsistency/injury history. It would also make a ton of sense to re-sign set to be free agent Ben Ijalana to have peace of mind at offensive tackle. In a perfect situation, the Jets re-sign Ijalana to a long-term deal with the idea of him being a starter and Clady as quality depth behind him. That’s ultimately why it’s best to retain Clady’s services for at least one more season.