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Denver Broncos will place franchise tag on Ryan Clady

Outside of Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco, there is no more of a no-brainer among the franchise tag candidates than Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady.

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VP of player personnel John Elway confirmed to the Denver Post that the Broncos will indeed apply the tag to Peyton Manning's blindside protector by the March 4 deadline.

While Elway's preference is to work out a long-term deal, he acknowledges that Clady's recent shoulder surgery has changed the dynamics of negotiations. "But we like Ryan," added Elway. "We like him a lot as a player and we'd like to get something done."

A three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All Pro, Clady has yet to miss an NFL game in five seasons. Similar to Flacco, Clady wagered heavily on himself by turning down a preseason offer reportedly worth $50 million over five years with $28 million guaranteed.

If Clady plays out the season under the $9.66 million franchise tag, the Broncos will still be getting elite left tackle play at a reduced rate.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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