Just one day after Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert announced his retirement, another left tackle from the 2008 NFL Draft class is hanging up his cleats. After ending the 2016 on injured reserve, yet still being the top left tackle available in free agency, veteran left tackle Ryan Clady is retiring from the NFL.
I'm excited about what life holds for me going forward. pic.twitter.com/7D1cglA8eG
Veteran Left Tackle Ryan Clady Announces Retirement
During the 2008 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected left tackle Ryan Clady with the 12th pick in the first round. Clady became the highest drafted player in Boise State history, a record that still holds firm to this day.
Clady came into the Broncos organization and made an immediate impact. The rookie left tackle started every game of the 2008 season and only allowed a half of a sack the whole season. Not only was he a dominant force, Clady committed only three penalties the whole season as well.
Never has an offensive lineman won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but Clady came close. He finished third in the voting for the award behind Matt Ryan (who won the award) and Chris Johnson. Clady was the only lineman, offensive or defensive, to receive any votes and was the only offensive tackle to allow less than a sack the whole season.
The veteran tackle put together quite an impressive career with Denver. Through the first 20 games of his career, he only allowed half of a sack. In 2012, Clady only allowed a single sack all season even after tearing his labrum in his right shoulder. He was able to play through several injuries over the course of his career, but eventually they started to catch up with him.
A Tragic End to an Incredible Career
During the 2013 season, Clady was placed on season-ending injured reserve due to a Lisfranc injury after only two games. Clady was able to come back in 2014 and played well enough to earn his fourth Pro Bowl appearance but missed the entire 2015 season due to a torn ACL. Clady received a Super Bowl ring for the Broncos win against the Panthers, but the injury prevented him from playing in the game.
The Broncos traded Clady, and a seventh round pick, to the New York Jets before the 2016 season. His season was cut short after nine games, however, after a torn rotator cuff landed Clady on the injured reserve list again. The Jets declined Clady’s option and made him an unrestricted free agent for 2017.
Clady received interest from several teams, including the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks. After a lot of thought and consideration, though, Clady decided on retirement.