Ryan Clady is set to become a free agent when the new league year starts in March after the Jets, according to a source, chose not to pick up the left tackle’s contract option for the 2017 season.
The team had until Wednesday to make a decision on Clady, who was due to make $10 million. By choosing not to pick up his option, the Jets save $10 million in salary-cap space.
General manager Mike Maccagnan will again need to address the Jets’ left tackle position. Offensive line injuries were an issue all last season. Left guard James Carpenter was the only starting offensive lineman to play every game. Clady, right tackle Breno Giacomini, right guard Brian Winters and center Nick Mangold were all placed on IR during the 2016 season.
Clady, 30, was signed last March to replace D’Brickashaw Ferguson, the Freeport native who abruptly retired at 32 after playing 10 years with the Jets. But Clady, a two-time Pro Bowler, played only seven games before he was placed on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder.
Injuries have become a recurring theme for the former Bronco. Clady did not play in 2015 because of a torn knee ligament. He played in only two games in 2013 because of a foot injury but made the Pro Bowl the following season.
Even though the Jets declined to pick up his option, they could re-sign him to a deal for less money. If not, Clady would become a free agent on March 9.