Dolphins pull off blockbuster trade with Texans, land multiple first-round picks in wild Laremy Tunsil deal
The Texans just beefed up their offense line and added another playmaker on offense, but the price was steep
According to NFL.com, the Texans have acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick from the Dolphins. In exchange, Miami will be getting a huge package of draft picks that will include two first-rounders (2020 and 2021) and a 2021 second-round pick. The Dolphins will also receive special-teamer Johnson Bademosi and tackle Julien Davenport in the deal, according to NFL.com.
The trade caps off a crazy day for the Texans, who have made four deals even though they don't even have a general manager. The Texans' first trade on Saturday Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle. Houston then followed when they acquired Carlos Hyde from the Chiefs. The Texans also acquired cornerback Keion Crossen from the Patriots.
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However, this was definitely the most shocking and most needed deal of the day for Houston, and that's because their offensive line was a disaster last season. During the 2018 season, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times. The fact that the Texans were willing to give up so much to land a starting left tackle shows just how desperate they were to beef up their line.
If the Texans hadn't acquired Tunsil, they were going to start Matt Kalil at left tackle. One oddity of the trade is that the Texans didn't work out a long term deal with Tunsil, which means he could bolt Houston when his contract expires after the 2020 season. If that happens, the Texans would have given up multiple first-round picks and gotten just two years of Tunsil in return.
One thing that will be interesting to watch is how losing Tunsil will go over in the Dolphins locker room. According to a report from the Miami Herald, multiple players in the team's locker room have said they "would revolt" if the Dolphins were to trade away Tunsil, and that trade just happened, which means head coach Brian Flores might be staring down the possibility of a full mutiny during his first year on the job.
The one part of the trade that isn't a huge surprise is the fact that Stills was involved in the deal. The Dolphins receiver was seemingly on thin ice in Miami after butting heads with owner Stephen Ross in early August. Stills became upset with Ross because the owner was involved in the fight for equality and against racism, but also supported Donald Trump, something that Stills felt was a contradiction.
Stills called out Ross on Twitter, something he later regretted.
"I definitely think from a professional matter, the right thing to do would have been to reach out to him first," Stills said, "but through conversations that we have and the history that we have, it gets to a point where I'm just a person that is sharing the message, letting other people know what's happening."
On the field, Stills is going to bolster a Texans receiving corps that was already strong. The addition of the six-year veteran means Watson is now going to have a group of receivers to throw to that includes Stills, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. Stills has racked up at least 500 yards receiving in each of his past three seasons.
As for the Dolphins, the trade will give Flores a chance to build for the future. With two first-round picks in both 2020 and 2021, the Dolphins will be able to stock up on talent for the next two years. The trade also means the Dolphins will be in a fantastic position to add a quarterback in 2020 if that's the route they decide to go. Although Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently the starter, he's not viewed as a long-term option, and if the Dolphins also feel the same way about Josh Rosen, that means they'll likely pounce on either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert in next year's draft.
In an NFL rarity, both teams basically reshaped their roster with one deal. The Texans are obviously going all-in to win this year in a weakened AFC South while the Dolphins are building for the future.
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