Contract Negotiation NFL Players NFL Teams Sports Agents Sports Business

Ryan Clady Discusses Russell Okung’s Self-Negotiated Contract

Left tackle Ryan Clady came to the New York Jets this offseason to replace D’Brickashaw Ferguson, one of the Jets’ most reliable players over the last decade. However, the Jets’ new offensive lineman did not leave the Denver Broncos without feeling some animosity towards his replacement, Russell Okung.

After receiving the Broncos’ franchise tag in 2013, Clady thought he would be a staple on the Denver offensive line for years to come. That was until Okung came along, without an agent, with a deal that made all NFL front offices jealous.

“Obviously, Seattle didn’t want Okung, but obviously Denver wanted him,” said Clady to the New York Daily News. “I don’t feel like he should have [gone] in there without an agent, maybe. It’s not exactly the greatest deal ever put together [for] a tackle. But, it is what it is. You got to move on. . . . I’m here now and I’m ready to prove myself.”

Okung’s one-year, $5 million contract has received more scrutiny by sports business critics than any other in recent memory. Not only have media members and NFL fans spoken out about the self-negotiated contract, but now a fellow left tackle has called-out Okung on it. Because the Broncos received such a great deal for Okung, they no longer needed Clady’s services. That is why the Broncos offered Clady with a “take it or leave it” deal, which contained no guarantees. Clady of course left it, and now will be protecting the blind side of Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Clady’s new contract is a one-year, $6 million deal with $3 million guaranteed plus incentives which could bring the total to $7.5 million. The Jets have a team option for 2017, where Clady could make $10 million in base pay, with incentives bringing it up to $13 million total.