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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.

Offseason Forecast: Denver Broncos

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With the offseason under way, Around The League examines what's next for all 32 teams. Chris Wesseling is saddled with  the Broncos. More ...

VP of player personnel John Elway confirmed to the Denver Post that the Broncoswill 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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