Ryan Clady is an unrestricted free agent who isn't going anywhere.
The Broncos' All Pro left tackle will return to protect Peyton Manning's blind side.
"We're going to tag him," said John Elway, the Broncos' senior vice president of football operations.
Elway added that placing a franchise tag on Clady, a procedure that will happen as soon as Tuesday, does not preclude the team and player from working out a multiyear contract extension.
"We'd like to work something out, like we did last year," Elway said, referring to contract negotiations with Clady that broke off before training camp. "Things have changed a little bit because he's coming off a shoulder surgery. But we like Ryan. We like him a lot as a player and we'd like to get something done."
Elway had just taken a break from "The Cave," as he calls it, the coaches' conference room where he and his scouts, personnel assistants and John Fox's coaching staff had spent the first six hours of Thursday going over draft-eligible safeties.
These next 10 weeks are the busiest and most important time of year for Elway as he oversees roster changes for the 2013 Broncos.
First on the NFL calendar is the franchise tag period that begins Tuesday and runs through March 4. This is where Clady comes in.
The Broncos' first-round draft pick, No. 12 overall, in 2008, Clady has been a three-time Pro Bowler, and two-time All Pro in his five seasons. He has never missed a game despite major knee surgery before the 2010 season and a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder near the end of the 2012 season that recently required surgery.
Teams are allowed to place a franchise tag on one of their unrestricted free agent players each year. This gives the player a top five average salary for one season, but pretty much restricts him from entering the free-agent pool.
Clady's projected salary under the tag would be $9.66 million in 2013, a nice raise from the $3.5 million he made this past season.


Read more: Broncos' Ryan Clady to receive franchise tag as John Elway begins busy offseason - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_22598139/broncos-ryan-clady-receive-franchise-tag-john-elway#ixzz2KzNT31Ae
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse