Texans sign Pro Bowl OT Laremy Tunsil to record extension
Laremy Tunsil made his first Pro Bowl last season. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans have reached agreement on a three-year extension for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

The numbers on Tunsil’s new money are, in a word, staggering. Tunsil confirmed earlier this month that he planned on becoming the NFL’s highest-paid offensive tackle, and he’s done so by a wide margin. Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson previously held that honor with an $18M/year average, but Tunsil has now exceeded that figure by $4M, a hefty increase.

Tunsil’s $57M in guarantees almost surely refer to injury guarantees, not full guarantees. The Raiders’ Trent Brown currently leads all offensive linemen $36.25M in fully guaranteed money, so $57M would represent an unprecedented jump. Johnson received $55.845M in injury guarantees on his extension with Philadelphia, and Tunsil has now topped that as well.

Of course, Tunsil held all the leverage in talks with Houston and exerted that clout as best he could. The Texans made a stunning trade to acquire Tunsil last year, sending two first-round picks plus a second-rounder to Miami in order to land 25-year-old. Having made that move, there was simply no way Houston could allow Tunsil to leave via free agency, so the club had to give him a massive extension.

Tunsil, the 13th overall selection in the 2016 draft, had one year and $10.35M remaining on his contract. While the Texans could have theoretically franchised him in both 2021 and 2022, Tunsil could have sat out or refused to sign the tag. The optics of such a maneuver wouldn’t have been great for Houston. Instead, a three-year extension will lock up Tunsil through the 2023 campaign.

In spite of his new annual salary, Tunsil remains a good — not great — left tackle. While he’s been a full-time starter in each of his four NFL seasons, he’s never made an All-Pro Team and was given a Pro Bowl nod just once (2019). Pro Football Focus, meanwhile, has graded Tunsil just outside the top-20 tackles in each of the past two years.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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