Texans trade for Dolphins' Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills

Print

Houston landed its left tackle.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero report the Texans are trading two first-round picks plus a second-rounder to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills, per sources informed of the deal. The team confirmed the trade on Sunday.

The Dolphins also receive special teamer Johnson Bademosi and offensive lineman Julie'n Davenport in the deal, while the Texans recoup fourth- and sixth-round picks, per RapSheet + Friends.

After Texans coach and de facto GM Bill O'Brien was flamed for not getting O-line help back in the trade of Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks, Houston went out and secured its future at left tackle in a big way.

Tunsil is one of the rising blindside blockers in the NFL and a massive upgrade for a Texans line that was among the worst in the league. One of the best pass-blocking tackles in the league, Tunsil will secure Deshaun Watson's backside.

After all the consternation surrounding the Texans offensive line, getting Tunsil out of South Beach is a huge coup for Houston and immediately upgrades their offensive potential in the AFC South.

With Tunsil under contract for the next two seasons at a bargain rate ($2.149 million; $10.35 million, respectively), O'Brien finally solved the left tackle problem that'd been a black hole since the Duane Brown trade in 2017. To do so, however, the Texans might have mortgatged their future given the steep price in draft capital.

The Texans also used their wealth of cap space to take Stills, and his $7.975 million base salary, off of the Dolphins hand's. Stills provides Houston a good complement to DeAndre Hopkins and will add depth to a receiver corps with Will Fuller and Keke Coutee, who haven't been able to stay healthy.

Stills appeared on his way out of Miami following open critiques of owner Stephen Ross hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump and criticizing hip-hop mogul Jay-Z's social justice partnership with the NFL. In discussing his reasoning for playing eight straight Jay-Z songs at a camp practice after Stills' comments, Dolphins coach Brian Flores cited the receiver's disappointing play.

All the signs pointed to the Dolphins potentially cutting Stills. Instead, they jettisoned him a package with Tunsil to Houston.

For the Dolphins, the trade of Tunsil is another loud siren that they are in full rebuild-mode. Given Tunsil's team-friendly contract situation and status as a supreme blocker on a woeful offensive line, moving on is a questionable move in the short-term. Miami now has major questions throughout the O-line. The trade also won't help with the evaluation of the QB position this season.

Instead of keeping their young, rising left tackle in Miami long-term, the Dolphins will swim forward with their boatload of picks into the 2020 season.

There are major questions about how the news will be received in the Dolphins' locker room. Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald previously reported that players "would revolt" if Tunsil was traded. First-year coach Brian Flores will now have to manage that potential uprising.

Miami's willingness to part with Tunsil is Deshaun Watson's gain.

Print