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Broncos trade LT Ryan Clady to Jets

The Jets have already found their replacement for the retiring D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have traded left tackle Ryan Clady and a seventh-round pick to the New York Jets, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. In return, New York is sending Denver a fifth-round pick.

The Broncos confirmed the trade on Sunday.

Once recognized as one of the top offensive tackles in the league, Clady is far removed from his best years, and injuries have severely limited his play in recent seasons. Clady has started just 18 games since 2013, and the 5-year, $52.5 million deal he signed that year isn't looking great at this stage.

Clady was guaranteed $15 million at the time of signing that deal, and he's already been paid that much. The Broncos owed him $19.5 million in base salary over the next two seasons, and that was too much to pay for his former team, even if Clady can return to form at this stage of his career.

A first-round pick in 2008, Clady will be 30 years old when the 2016 season gets underway. The four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro player certainly has value and can still play left tackle at a high level in the NFL. But the Broncos went with a cheaper option in free agent Russell Okung, making Clady available for trade.

Denver considered a last-minute deal to acquire Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas last season, but that deal never materialized. It will be interesting to see if they reach out and inquire about a trade or if they think there is a viable left tackle on the open market or in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Despite Clady's age and decreasing production, he fills an immediate need at left tackle for the Jets, who just lost longtime starter D'Brickashaw Ferguson to retirement.

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