After a month and a half of negotiations, the Houston Texans and Laremy Tunsil made it official. The Texans signed their Pro Bowl left tackle to a contract extension on Friday, the team announced. Terms of the contract were not disclosed by the team.
"Earlier today, we were able to come to an agreement and we're thrilled," head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien said Friday. "We're thrilled to have Laremy Tunsil on our team. He's a great guy. He's really committed to the Houston Texans. He's committed to the city of Houston. He understands how important it is to be out and in front relative to all the things you can do to help the community in Houston. So we're thrilled."
Tunsil, who represented himself in the contract negotiations, helped protect Deshaun Watson's blind side and solidify an offensive line that had undergone extensive injuries and lineup changes in the quarterback's first two NFL seasons. Houston traded two first-round draft picks and one second rounder to the Miami Dolphins for Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills before the start of the 2019 regular season.
"We went ahead and we made that trade to make our team better," O'Brien said. "And we had a good year with Laremy. You know, there's there's a lot of things that he's going to be more comfortable with within our offense this year. He's going to be a better player. This year played very well for us. Our sack total dropped about twenty to twenty-five from the previous year with him in the lineup."
The Texans and Tunsil reached an agreement on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Texans did not have a draft pick during Thursday's first-round selections, which saw six offensive tackles taken in the first night.
"We had him on a rookie contract, so this year was a good deal for the Houston Texans because we had a Pro Bowl left tackle playing on a rookie contract," O'Brien said. "We were able to come to an agreement with him today, which is a really good deal for the Houston Texans and if you look at the way the draft went, it would've been very difficult to draft a great left tackle in the first round where we may have been sitting."
In his first season in Houston in 2019, Tunsil became the first Texans offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl since 2012 after starting 14 regular season games and both postseason games at left tackle. Houston acquired Tunsil (6-5, 313) in a trade with Miami before the season, after he started 44 regular season games and one postseason game for the Dolphins from 2016-18. Tunsil, 25, was drafted with the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of University of Mississippi, where he played three seasons (2013-15) and earned second-team All-America honors.