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Source: Jets rework Ryan Clady's contract to buy time

The Jets and left tackle Ryan Clady have agreed to a restructured contract. Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images

The New York Jets eventually face a decision on the future of left tackle Ryan Clady, but the team bought itself sometime with a contract reworking that actually took place in December, according to a source.

Clady, who started eight games for the team in 2016, was scheduled to have a $1 million roster bonus due in mid-February, which would have put the clock on team management to decide whether or not to move on from the former All-Pro lineman. He also is due a $10 million base salary for 2017, none of which is guaranteed.

Under the new terms, Clady is no longer due a roster bonus, with that $1 million instead being converted into incentives. His $10 million base pay, which remains untouched, isn't guaranteed until Week 1 of the regular season, at which point base salaries for all vested veterans become guaranteed.

Clady’s season was cut short because of a rotator cuff injury, as injuries have limited him to a total of just 27 of 64 total games since the start of the 2013 season. While Clady would still seem like a long shot to be retained for 2017 with a $10 million base salary, the Jets have afforded themselves more time to evaluate his health and performance.

Ben Ijalana started the final eight games at left tackle for the Jets, but he will be an unrestricted free agent. He'd be the only in-house candidate to assume left-tackle duties if the Jets move on from Clady.