Denver Broncos, capononic stalwarts Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The complete details are in on Ryan Clady's contract, and keeping with recent history, the Broncos have done quite well to protect themselves financially.

As Jason Fitzgerald had predicted, the deal has only $15M in full guarantees - less than half of the $33M that's reported as being guaranteed.

Wisely, Denver has again given a relatively tiny signing bonus - only $3M - while handing Clady most of the real guarantees in the form of a $10.5M roster bonus payable tomorrow. What makes this such a smart move is that the $10.5M is a 2013 cap hit, and is not prorated beyond this year; only the signing bonus is prorated, at a mere $600K per season.

The balance of the fully guaranteed portion comes in the form of his $1.5M salary for 2013.

Clady's $8M salary for 2014, $8.5M salary and $1.5M roster bonus for 2015, are due on the fifth day of those league years. Until those dates, they are guaranteed only for injury.

All expectations are that Clady will be protecting Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler in 2014/2015, but the point is that Denver is protected against a sudden decline in Ryan's play, or a stunning emergence of a cheaper replacement.

The one-in-a-million scenario is that Clady misses enough time in either 2013 or 2014 for Vinston Painter to show he's an NFL left tackle, and a bargain one at that, and Clady is cut in 2014 or 2015 at no cost to Denver. Nobody expects or wants for this to occur, but if it does, Denver is prepared.

If this sounds like an impossible scenario, see the case of one Dumervil, Elvis.

An interesting note from Joel Corry's article is that the All-Pro escalators in Clady's contract are never guaranteed, and therefore would have no cap impact, should Clady be cut at any point.

According to Corry, the Broncos are left with $7.39M in cap room, which means they still have a large cushion with which to work. If there's a serious injury in camp, or a projected starter proves not worthy of being one, Denver will have plenty of room to add an Eric Winston and/or John Abraham, with room to spare.

We wouldn't be surprised to see some of that space used to extend Wesley Woodyard and/or Zane Beadles, and it's been reported that Denver hopes to extend Britton Colquitt before the season starts.

All of this is to say that, as Fitzgerald has long maintained, the Broncos are among the best at structuring contracts and managing the cap. For this, John Elway & Co. deserve hearty applause.

Broncos News

John Fox says that while Matt Russell, Tom Heckert, and Quentin Saulsberry are reckless dumbasses (okay, those are my words), most people employed by the Broncos are upstanding citizens.

Mitch Unrein says he had Peyton autograph the ball used by the two to connect for a touchdown pass against Tampa Bay last season.

Ticket prices for Peyton's return to Indy are 134% higher than those for the Colts' second-priciest home game.

Broncos Analysis

Bucky Brooks goes into great depth to explain why he thinks PMFM's increased comfort and improved health, the addition of Wes Welker, and the quality of Denver's single-back options will combine to make the team's offense unstoppable.

Christopher Hansen explains why Manning should have enough left for at least two more great seasons behind center. (h/t Ben)

Andrew Mason looks ahead to the Week 15 home game against San Diego.

Pete Prisco says Adam Gase is on such a fast track that he thinks a SB season for Denver could land the 34-year old a head job by next season.

Clark Judge predicts that the late portion of Denver's schedule should mostly be a cakewalk, with the Week 16 trip to Houston the lone exception.

Wes Welker and DeMarcus Ware continue to make the rounds in a promo campaign for Depends, this time doing a podcast interview with SportsGrid.

News

The Broncos are one of eight teams participating in a pilot program that will put players' injury information onto iPads and travel with them when they switch teams. Of course, this info could end up being used against players in contract negotiations, but that seems an unavoidable tradeoff for taking better care of them.

Detroit cut running back Jahvid Best, whose career was derailed by concussions; Texans LB Brian Cushing has been cleared to return from his knee injury; Brett Favre Tony Gonzalez says he's definitely retiring after this season; Eagles tackle Jason Peters won a $2M lawsuit over an Achilles tear caused by a defective rolling walker; Dolphins CEO Mike Dee has left his gig to take the same position with the Padres.

TE Rob Gronkowski nearly walked out of an interview over repeated questions about Aaron Hernandez, which should serve as a harbinger of things to come for the Patriots this year.

SB 32 & 33 champion Greg Robinson has joined Mack Brown's Longhorns staff in a background role.

Analysis

Perhaps trying to make up for the theory that Eli Manning couldn't succeed until Tiki Barber and his ego retired, and the indisputable fact that Tiki was a total dick to Eli, Tiki now hilariously claims that Eli is better than Peyton.

Gil Brandt lays out his list of what teams need to accomplish during training camp.

The SC guys consider the on-field and caponomic outlooks for the Bucs; Neil Hornsby predicts the starting lineups for Seattle and Tampa Bay.

Brodrick Bunkley's 2011 campaign for Denver ranks among the 20 best for any DT since PFF has been grading players.

Here's a fine list of things to look forward to from the coming NFL season.

Maths

As Chase Stuart explains, only the laziest of thinkers would use Matthew Stafford's won/lost record to predict how the rest of his career will turn out.

More from OTC: a look at the Bears' best and worst contracts and the looming contract-year campaign for Jay Cutler; analysis of the Victor Cruz and Carlos Dunlap extensions.

Miscellany

Tim Marchman and Jack Dickey consider whether the return of Keith Olbermann to ESPN is a play by the Worldwide Leader to capture more intelligent sports fans.

With the NCAA abandoning the video game business due to the lawsuit by former UCLA hoopster Ed O'Bannon, Patrick Hruby considers the financial factors and potential legal impact of the move, while Mike Tanier offers up an old-school replacement.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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