Because he plays left tackle, and at least one time was a really good one the question has to be asked. Now the New York Jets have released Ryan Clady, should the New York Giants have interest in the four-time Pro Bowler?
It has been well-documented, of course, that Giants’ tackles Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart were less than adequate in 2016 and that upgrading at least one of those spots has to be an offseason priority.
Would Clady, who will be 31 next season, be an upgrade for the Giants?
Clady played only two games in 2013 due to a Lisfranc injury. He made the Pro Bowl in 2014, but suffered a torn ACL during OTAs and missed the entire 2015 season. The Denver Broncos traded Clady to the Jets prior to last season. Clady played in nine games for the Jets before landing on IR with a torn rotator cuff.
The Jets cleared $10 million in cap space by letting Clady go.
Here is SB Nation summarizing what Clady might still have to offer:
Before injuries derailed his career, Clady was one of the NFL’s premiere offensive linemen. The tackle is a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time-All Pro, with two first team All-Pro designations. Clady also earned himself a ring in Denver, winning Super Bowl 50, though the tackle was placed on injured reserve well before training camp, with issues stemming from a previous ACL injury.
It’s possible the Jets bring Clady back, or another team — perhaps a Super Bowl hopeful missing a piece or two on the offensive line — makes a play for the veteran tackle, but none will likely offer him anywhere near the $10 million he was set to earn this season. Clady isn’t the athlete he once was earlier in his career, but he’s still a solid veteran presence who can hold his own at the left tackle position. In a league where offensive line play seems to be worsening by the year, that’s worth something.
Per Mike Garafolo, Clady won’t be eligible to sign with a new team until free agency begins on March 9. Might Clady be worth a flier, at least as competition for Flowers, if he is willing to take an inexpensive contract in an effort to prove he can still play?