Left tackle Laremy Tunsil is one of the only good things about the Houston Texans this season. There isn’t much to get excited about when taking a look at the current roster, but he is a standout. They are 2-13-1 on the season and rank near the bottom of nearly every statistic this season. Houston is heading toward having the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which would provide them the opportunity to select a new franchise quarterback.
There aren’t many building blocks on the roster, but a few pieces stick out. Rookies Derek Stingley Jr. and Dameon Pierce have both been good this season and should be long-term pieces for the franchise. But, the best player on this team is easily Tunsil.
Tunsil is having a great season for the Texans, starting and playing every offensive snap thus far through 15 games. His performance was recognized as he was named the starting left tackle for the AFC Pro Bowl team, quite an honor given how poorly things have gone for the Texans and how little attention they have garnered.
The three-time Pro Bowler is hopeful that his first All-Pro nomination is soon to follow. Tunsil is certainly deserving of any personal accolades that he receives as his 92 percent pass rush win rate is 12th best among tackles, allowing only one sack and 12 pressures all season.
“Let me honor the Pro Bowl. It feels good to be a Pro Bowl starter, getting voted in from the coaches and players, so I’m blessed to have that opportunity,” Tunsil said. “To [potentially] get an All-Pro nod? Man, I’ve been working my ass off for all seven years just to get acknowledged as an All-Pro. I feel like that’s one of the biggest achievements in the NFL.”
With that recognition also comes some bargaining power. Tunsil is heading into the final year of a three-year, $66 million deal that he signed in 2020, but he is looking to renegotiate that deal this offseason. He has set a lofty goal, as he wants to become the highest-paid tackle in the NFL and reset the market for the position.
“I don’t know who’s the highest right now, maybe Trent [Williams] at 23 [million], but I want to top that,” Laremy Tunsil told ESPN. “Always want to reset the market. Perfect opportunity to reset the market. Everything is lining up as far as my contract to how I’m playing. Everything lining up perfectly.”
Perfectly indeed. Tunsil is playing at a high level and has cemented his status as one of the premier left tackles in the NFL with how he has performed. He certainly has a strong case when negotiating to surpass Trent Williams as the highest-paid tackle in the league and it will be interesting to see how the Texans go about things.
For a young quarterback to succeed a lot needs to go right. Having an offensive line capable of protecting him is foremost and if the Texans plan on trotting out a rookie next season, having Tunsil locked into a long-term deal to anchor the line would be ideal.