The Houston Texans have been in the headlines this offseason for all of the wrong reasons, but they are now focused on locking up someone they consider to be a cornerstone of their offensive front. According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, the Texans and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil have started talks on a new multi-year extension, and have exchanged preliminary proposals.
Tunsil wants to reset the market, however, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this month that the former No. 13 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is looking to sign a contract averaging at least $19 million to $20 million per year. Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is currently the league's highest-paid offensive tackle, making an average of $18 million per year. Wilson reported that the Texans' initial contract proposal averaged $18.5 million per year, but Tunsil's counteroffer was significantly higher.
The Texans received Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills, a fourth-round pick and a future sixth-round pick from the Miami Dolphins that included two first-rounders (2020 and 2021) and a 2021 second-round pick last August. Tunsil started in 14 games at left tackle in his first season with the Texans and earned his first Pro Bowl nod. He only allowed Deshaun Watson to be sacked three times, but he did struggle with penalties. Only 25-years-old, Tunsil could potentially develop into the next star offensive tackle in the NFL.
According to overthecap.com, the Texans are sitting pretty when it comes to their finances. They reportedly have almost $35 million available, which gives them the ability to make Tunsil the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL. While the two sides aren't seeing eye-to-eye right now, Wilson reports that this is a fluid situation and talks are continuing.