Eisenhower grad one of NFL’s best, has contract to prove it

It wouldn’t be fair to say Ryan Clady is Eisenhower High School’s finest football product considering Ronnie Lott, for whom the school’s football field is named, was a member of the class of 1977. The Denver Broncos left tackle, however, has established himself as one of the best in football at his position. Now he’s getting paid like it.

Clady signed a five-year $52.5 million extension today that includes $33 million guaranteed in the first three years. The guaranteed money in that time frame easily bests the contracts of the St. Louis Rams’ Jake Long ($12 million) and Houston Texans’ Duane Brown ($22 million). Only Joe Thomas received more with $40 million in his first three years with the Cleveland Browns.

If Clady, a three-time All-Pro, is twice more named to the All-Pro team during the life of the contract, it will jump to $57.5 million, making him the third-highest paid lineman in the NFL behind Thomas and Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Clady, 26, has started every game during his five seasons in the league since the Broncos made him the 12th overall pick of the 2008 NFL draft. That streak seemed in jeopardy when Clady rejected a five-year $50 million offer with $28 million guaranteed last summer, and was working out away from the Broncos facilities this offseason after the team put the franchise tag on their left tackle. Had he not signed by the Monday deadline, he would have played under a one-year, $9.823 million deal because of the franchise tag.

Clady had offseason shoulder surgery after playing through an injury last year that is expected to cause him to miss the start of training camp, which begins July 25.