“Denver has agreed to trade four-time Pro Bowl OT Ryan Clady and a 7th round pick to the Jets for a 5th round pick.”
With that move, the Jets pulled off another low risk, high reward trade for the second straight offseason. Last year, they traded a fifth round pick for a former Pro Bowler coming off an injury plagued season at a position of need. This year, they traded another fifth round pick for a former Pro Bowler coming off an injury plagued season at a position of need. You read yesterday how the Jets had to be blindsided by the news of D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s sudden retirement, but with this trade coupled with their courtship of former Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum it seems like Maccagnan has been operating under the premise that Ferguson wouldn’t be on the roster for the 2016-2017 season. This move is another calculated risk by Maccagnan, and here’s what Clady brings to the table as the new starting left tackle for the Jets.
The 29 year old now former Denver Bronco has been a four time Pro Bowler and two time All-Pro in his career. Drafted in the first round in 2008 out of Boise State, Clady immediately solidified himself as one of the better young tackles int he NFL. During his rookie year, he gave up zero sacks and committed three penalties while starting every game for the Broncos. That year, he finished third in the rookie of the year voting behind Matt Ryan and Chris Johnson. He set the record for most consecutive starts to a career without giving up a sack with 20, not giving up his first sack until Week 6 of the 2009 season.
The Sporting News listed him as the best offensive tackle in football after his rookie year. In 2010, he tore his patella tendon but did not miss any time. In 2011, he made another Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games and in 2012 he allowed just one sack again before tearing his labrum towards the end of the season. He missed almost the entire 2013 season due to a Lisfranc injury, but came back in 2014 to make the Pro Bowl again. Last season, Clady tore his ACL and missed the entire season. He is a year removed from the Pro Bowl, but has missed 30 out of a possible 48 games over the last three years. When he’s been healthy, he’s been one of the better tackles in the game but his body is banged up. Still, as a low risk move and with the contract restructure that’s most assuredly coming for Clady it’s a solid move for the Jets.
Trading Mo Wilkerson now for a couple of day two picks to replenish what you just dealt for Clady and adding more draft ammunition to continue rebuilding the middle class of the roster becomes that much more imperative. With Clady’s injury history, you need depth behind him. This also doesn’t preclude the Jets from taking a player like Taylor Decker in round one and starting him at RT. A five man unit of Ryan Clady, Brian Winters, Nick Mangold, James Carpenter, and Taylor Decker gives the Jets three starters under the age of 27 (this offensive line needs youth) and four starters under the age of 30.
Two years removed from having an old and unproductive group, the Jets would have one of the higher upside offensive lines in football. Don’t overlook the Jets acquiring a 7th rounder in this trade either; that 7th rounder last year turned into their starting QB, so now the Jets go into the draft with a first, second, third, fourth, sixth, and two sevenths.