The Houston Texans had a busy weekend. Not only did they trade Brandin Cooks to the Dallas Cowboys, they've reportedly signed left tackle Laremy Tunsil to a massive three-year, $75 million extension.
Per Saint Omni, #Texans star LT Laremy Tunsil is once again the highest-paid tackle in NFL history, securing a 3-year deal worth $75M with $50M fully guaranteed and $60M in total guarantees. The blindside protector does a true reset on the market. Tunsil represented himself. pic.twitter.com/pEC68BRPSu— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2023
This deal, which reportedly includes $50 million in guaranteed money, makes 28-year-old Tunsil the highest-paid tackle in NFL history, with an average yearly salary of $25 million. He beats fellow left tackle Trent Williams of the San Francisco 49ers, who has made just over $23 million a year since 2021. Tunsil's last deal with the Texans, a three-year, $66 million contract extension he signed in 2020, also made him the highest-paid tackle in NFL history (a record that was beaten by Williams a year later).
Tunsil's NFL career didn't have the ideal start. He was initially projected to be one of the top picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, but a photo surfaced of Tunsil smoking out of a gas mask bong just 10 minutes before the draft began. He slipped out of the top five, and then out of the top ten, before getting drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 13th overall pick.
But now, seven years into his pro career, he's one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, and he's also being paid like he's one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. This extension with the Texans is the second time in three years he's signed a deal that reset the market, which was one of Tunsil's goals coming into this offseason. And when this contract is over, he'll be ready to do the exact same thing again in 2026.
And he's gotten all that done without an agent. Mitchell Schwartz, the Super Bowl-winning offensive tackle who retired with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2020 season, praised Tunsil's thoughtful approach with contracts.
This is how you do it players. Sign 3 year deals and don’t push for fully guaranteed contracts. Drive up the AAV, keep the contract short, and cash in 2-3 years later as the market keeps jumping. He’ll be ready for another deal when he’s 30-31. His 4th deal, not his 3rd. Awesome. https://t.co/3o0u6mwznD— Mitchell Schwartz (@MitchSchwartz71) March 19, 2023