AFC Notes: Tunsil, Dalton, Ross, Bengals

Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil recently landed a three-year, $66MM extension that easily made him the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman, and he did it without an agent. Tunsil negotiated the contract himself and he’s quite happy he did, writes Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. Tunsil said he thinks he “started a trend by not having an agent doing my deal,” and that he “wanted to reset the market and become the highest-paid offensive linemen just so all the young players under me [know] that anything is possible.”

During the press call Tunsil revealed that he first started talking with the Texans back in February, and that he was insistent on signing a shorter-term deal so he could re-enter free agency again when he was still young. Tunsil is locked up through the 2023 season now, and he’ll still only be 29 when he hits free agency in the spring of 2024. This could become a growing trend in the league, and Tunsil said he spoke with Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, who also negotiated his own contract, during the process. “You just have to bet on yourself, and that’s what I did, and I got the deal done,” Tunsil declared. “I’m extremely proud of myself and the team. I’m still speechless, even though it was a couple of days ago they made the announcement. I’m still speechless.”

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The draft came and went, and the Bengals were unable to find any takers for Andy Dalton. They’ve been trying to trade their former starting quarterback for a while, and Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic thinks they will end up releasing him shortly after failing to unload him over the weekend. It looks like Cincy is about to finally give up on trading Dalton and the nearly $18MM he’s owed for 2020. We heard shortly before the draft that the Bengals hadn’t ruled out keeping him, but that was likely just a ploy to try to keep his trade value alive. The game of quarterback musical chairs has pretty much ended, and there aren’t many teams out there still looking for a veteran signal-caller. The Patriots have been rumored as an option, and it’ll be very interesting to see where Dalton ends up signing once he gets released. The Colts apparently sniffed around before opting to sign Philip Rivers.
  • Speaking of the Bengals, the draft also spelled bad news for receiver John Ross. Dehner writes that the selection of former Clemson receiver Tee Higgins at the top of the second-round “does pretty much confirm this will be Ross’ last year in Cincinnati.” The Bengals drafted Ross ninth overall in 2017, and his career got off to a very bumpy start. Injuries limited him to only three games and zero catches as a rookie, and he had only 210 yards in 2018. This past season he got off to a torrid start, racking up 270 yards and three touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season. He cooled off quickly after that though, and ended up missing another eight games due to injury. He finished with 506 yards in eight games, but the progress apparently still didn’t inspire much confidence within the organization. The Bengals will have to decide this week whether or not to pick up Ross’ fifth-year option for 2021, and Dehner makes it sound like that isn’t too likely.
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15 comments on “AFC Notes: Tunsil, Dalton, Ross, Bengals

  1. natsfan3437

    Tunsil didn’t start a trend because everyone doesn’t get to negotiate against Bill O’Brien.

    • Rhino

      Well when a team gives up 2 first round picks & a 2021 second round pick for you it’s a good bet they want to keep you for more than a year. Tunsil held all the cards and he knew he had the Texans right where he wanted them.

  2. petersdylan36

    Why don’t the Bengals keep Dalton? No one is going to trade for him. He isn’t starting on any team if Cam can’t get a job. He should be a good mentor for Burrow

    • wagner13

      He limits cap flexibility. On the other hand, the Bengals could wait until an inevitable injury and trade him prior to the deadline…

    • Why is Cam Newton not having a job any reason to discount Dalton starting somewhere? Outside of rushing, Dalton has similar or better statistics across the board than Cam. I think we can agree that Cam is and will continue losing his rushing edge as he gets older, which makes Dalton a better option moving forward as a pocket QB.

  3. Yea, Tunsil had all the leverage here. Easy. But the shorter term contracts are the way to go. Maximize your earnings in your mid to late 20s and get another lucrative contract in your late 20s… doesn’t work w elite RBs. Get tagged until you can’t get tagged anymore. But sign the tag. Maximize value yearly rather than duration of the deal.

  4. Polish Hammer

    Agents and advisors are way overrated, just ask anybody that ends up dropping on draft day due to showing up with his bong mask stealing the spotlight…

  5. Simmons>Russ

    Why don’t the Bengals try swap Dalton to the Redskins to play as a back up QBs for Haskins and take back Alex Smiths ugly contract and grab a pick like a 3rd rounder. Then cut Alex Smith.

    Bengals win because they grab themselves an extra draft pick and Redskins win because they get rid of a bad contract and they get back a more than capable back up. Win-win deal

    • Because cutting Alex Smith this year comes with an additional $10.8M cap hit, whereas cutting Andy Dalton comes with a $17.7M cap savings; a difference of $28.5M in favor of Andy Dalton’s contract. The most recent valuation I’ve seen for the #1 overall draft pick is $14M, so theoretically the Redskins would have to give the Bengals more than two #1 overall picks to account for future picks being worth less in order to make this even worth discussing.

    • I don’t think the Bengals have the cap space to take on Smith’s contract anyway.

      Also, Redskins are rebuilding, probably rather eat Smith’s contract then giving away a 3rd round pick (which will be a high 3rd rounder) for cap relief.

    • gleybertorres25

      The Redskins have their backup in Kyle Allen. If they’re going to give up a 3rd rounder to offload Alex Smith, they aren’t taking on Dalton’s contract. Plus trading Smith reduces their cap by $10M so they’re literally better off keeping him

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