HOUSTON — Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil told ESPN on Wednesday that he wants to be the highest-paid tackle in the NFL.
“I don’t know who’s the highest right now, maybe Trent [Williams] at $23 [million], but I want to top that,” 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.”
Tunsil said he plans to renegotiate his deal in the offseason after being named the AFC’s starting left tackle for the Pro Bowl.
He will be entering the final season of his three-year, $66 million extension that he signed in 2020. General manager Nick Caserio already converted Tunsil’s $17.85 million salary for 2022 into a $16.815 million signing bonus and made his base salary $1,035,000 in the offseason.
Williams became the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history — at $23,010,000 per season — after signing a six-year, $138.06 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2021. Of that, $55.1 million was fully guaranteed with a $30.1 million signing bonus.
Going into 2023, Tunsil will have a base salary of $18.5 million and his cap number will be $35,210,834. His dead cap number is $16,710,834, so technically the Texans could release or trade Tunsil to free up cap space, which is another reason Tunsil wants to secure long-term security.
His production ranked with the best in the NFL. His pass win rate (92.0%) was 12th best among tackles, as he allowed only one sack all year (tied for second fewest) and has allowed 12 pressures (third fewest).
“Something that motivated me during the offseason was an article that came out that said I was a very good starter,” Tunsil said. “So that gave me your fuel to just get back to playing football because I did miss 12 games last year because of the thumb injury. But just coming back just to show everybody that I am the best tackle.”
Tunsil hopes to be considered for first or second team All-Pro honors, which he has never been awarded during his career.
“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.”
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