On the same day D’Brickashaw Ferguson officially announced his retirement from the NFL, the Jets zeroed in on his replacement.
A source confirmed to Newsday on Saturday night that the Denver Broncos have agreed to trade four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Ryan Clady to the Jets in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick.
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According to ESPN, which first reported the news, Clady took a physical at the Jets’ practice facility on Friday.
By retiring, Ferguson, 32, saved the Jets $9.1 million in salary-cap space. Now they’re working on getting Clady signed to a new deal. He had two years and $19.5 million left on his previous contract with the Broncos.
While the news of Clady’s imminent arrival may be a relief to Jets fans, his health remains a big question mark. The 29-year-old tore an ACL last May and missed Denver’s Super Bowl championship season.
He has played only 18 of the past 48 games because of knee and foot injuries. He also was placed on injured reserve in 2013 after suffering a Lisfranc injury and missed the Broncos’ playoff run and eventual Super Bowl loss to the Seahawks. When he’s in peak physical condition, though, Clady is one of the best tackles in the game.
Ferguson never had any issues with durability. The fourth overall pick in 2006, he never missed a play because of injury in 167 games (including the regular season and playoffs), never missed a practice and never was listed on an injury report.
“I can’t speak to his entire career, but I can say how impressed I was with his approach to the game and his commitment to the team,” Jets coach Todd Bowles told the team’s website.
“From my perspective, D’Brickashaw embodied what you want from all of your players.”