Texans Rumors

Latest On Laremy Tunsil

Appearing on NFL Live earlier today, Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil unsurprisingly confirmed that’s aiming to become the NFL’s top-paid offensive lineman if and when he reaches a long-term deal with Houston.

“I’m not going to talk numbers, as I’m going to keep that between me and the club,” Tunsil said, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. “I am looking to be the highest-paid lineman, of course. I worked my butt off to be in that position and hopefully we can make that happen.”

Tunsil didn’t want to talk specific figures, but numbers have been reported. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle recently indicated the Texans are willing to make Tunsil the league’s highest-paid lineman and have offered an annual salary of $18.5MM, $500K more per year than the Eagles’ Lane Johnson collects.

Tunsil is reportedly looking to top $18.5MM annually, but it’s unclear just how much more he’s searching for. A $20MM/year pact would represent a significant increase in the offensive tackle market, but given that Houston sacrificed two first-round picks and a second-rounder to land Tunsil from the Dolphins last offseason, the 25-year-old holds all the leverage in talks.

The 13th overall selection in the 2016 draft, Tunsil will earn $10.35MM in 2019, the final year of his rookie pact. The Texans could conceivably retain him through 2021 by deploying consecutive franchise tags, but an extension seems far more likely.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans, DT Timmy Jernigan Agree To Deal

After three years in Philadelphia, Timmy Jernigan will head back to the AFC. The veteran defensive tackle agreed to terms with the Texans on Wednesday, Marc Berman of Fox 26 tweets.

Jernigan can earn up to $3.75MM on this one-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, and will receive $1.25MM guaranteed. He will join a Texans team that saw longtime starter D.J. Reader defect in free agency.

This marks another low-level pact for Jernigan, who went from signing a four-year, $48MM Eagles extension to agreeing to back-to-back one-year deals. Last year, the Eagles released him only to re-sign him for one year and $1.25MM. The former Ravens starter will become the second-biggest name on the Texans’ defensive line, which J.J. Watt is in line to lead for a 10th season.

Jernigan, 27, played just 27% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps last season. He missed most of the 2018 campaign due to injury but impressed enough during Philly’s Super Bowl season to sign that lucrative extension. A former second-round Ravens pick, Jernigan totaled 13 sacks and 35 quarterback hits in three Baltimore seasons. With Philly, he posted 5.5 sacks and 12 QB knockdowns. Last season, Jernigan missed extensive time due to a broken foot.

A change of scenery figures to result in increased playing time for the six-year veteran, and this will likely double as a chance for Jernigan to re-establish his value in hopes of landing another big contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Laremy Tunsil, Texans Exchange Offers

The Texans and Laremy Tunsil may be progressing on a deal. The sides had preliminary talks last month, and Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets they have exchanged contract proposals.

This does not appear to be a sign the sides are especially close on a new contract, though. No agreement is imminent, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle adds (via Twitter). But this pact will make Tunsil the NFL’s highest-paid tackle, per Wilson. The only question will be by how much does the former first-round pick separate himself from the field.

Houston has come in with an $18.5MM-per-year offer, Wilson tweets. Tunsil’s counteroffer is “significantly” higher, per Wilson. With Lane Johnson‘s $18MM-per-year pact leading all offensive linemen, the Texans’ first proposal is notable. With $18.5MM AAV being the team’s starting point, this could be a monster deal Tunsil.

Tunsil has been extension-eligible since January 2019, but his outlook changed once the Texans gave up two-first-round picks and change for him last summer. The Texans trading away DeAndre Hopkins also cleared a high-salary slot on Houston’s payroll.

The former Dolphins draft pick is expected to push for a $20MM-per-year accord. Tunsil going for a deal north of $20MM annually makes sense given where the cap could go in the near future under the new CBA. Anthony Castonzo‘s new Colts deal averages $16.5MM annually, but with Tunsil only going into his age-26 season and having seen the Texans give up major assets for him, his deal will almost certainly come in much higher.

Tunsil made his first Pro Bowl last season. While his resume does not profile as a player who would warrant a contract well north of the tackle market, the Ole Miss product was once in contention to become 2016’s No. 1 overall pick. And the Texans’ 2019 trade package sent to the Dolphins for him increased his leverage in extension talks, just as the Rams’ haul sent to the Jaguars will when Jalen Ramsey negotiations begin.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Notes: Johnson, McKinney

  • The Texans have been widely panned for the trade which sent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona and running back David Johnson to Houston, and the terms of Johnson’s contract aren’t going to make matters improve. Johnson, whose 2020 base salary of $10.2MM is already guaranteed, saw $2.1MM of his 2021 salary become fully guaranteed last Friday, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. The veteran back is scheduled to count for more than $11MM on the Texans’ salary cap in 2020 before that figure drops to $9MM in 2021.
  • In other Texans contract news, linebacker Benardrick McKinney‘s $6MM base salary for 2020 is now fully guaranteed, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). McKinney, who inked a five-year, $50MM extension with Houston in 2018, previously had this year’s base salary guaranteed for injury only. The inside linebacker market has exploded since McKinney signed that pact, as his $10MM annual salary now ranks just 12th at the position.

Hopkins Was Issue In Texans' Locker Room?

Before the Texans dealt DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, the Patriots pursued the All-Pro wideout. So did the Eagles, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com said during an interview with Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic (Twitter link). The Eagles passed on going deep into talks, however, which makes sense given their commitments to Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. Hopkins also wants a new deal in the $20MM-per-year range, in which Amari Cooper (zero All-Pro honors). The Eagles’ view of the much-hyped 2020 wide receiver class affected a potential Hopkins pursuit, Tim McManus of ESPN.com adds.

This impacted the Texans’ trade, with Albert Breer of SI.com adding that Hopkins wanted a raise instead of an extension. He is under contract through 2022 — on a $16.2MM-per-year deal that has dropped from first to eighth among wide receivers. Hopkins had also become a bit of a locker room issue in Houston, per Breer, who adds that the Texans may have been reluctant to reward the 27-year-old star because of the message it would have sent. This process came as a bit of a surprise to the Cardinals, whom Breer notes did not engage in Hopkins discussions with the Texans at the Combine.

AFC Contract Details: Bulaga, Cobb, Collins

Here are the latest contract details as of Sunday night. We will focus on the AFC here.

  • Bryan Bulaga, T (Chargers): Three years, $30MM. $19.25MM guaranteed; $10MM signing bonus. Bulaga’s salaries in 2020 ($1.5MM) and 2021 ($7.75MM) are guaranteed. A $2.5MM roster bonus is due on Day 3 of the 2022 league year, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Randall Cobb, WR (Texans): Three years, $27MM. $18MM guaranteed; $6MM signing bonus. Base salaries in 2020 ($3.75MM) and ’21 ($8.25MM) are guaranteed; non-guaranteed salary of $7.9MM in 2022. Wilson notes (on Twitter).
  • Rodney Gunter, DL (Jaguars): Three years, $18MM. $11.15MM guaranteed; $4.25MM signing bonus. 2020 and ’21 base salaries of $2MM and $4.9MM are guaranteed. Non-guaranteed 2022 base of $5.4MM, per Wilson (on Twitter).
  • Vic Beasley, OLB (Titans): One year, $9.5MM. The $9.5MM is guaranteed and includes a $6MM signing bonus. $2.5MM worth of sack-based incentives exist in the deal, Wilson adds (on Twitter).
  • Maliek Collins, DT (Raiders): One year, $6MM. $5.75MM guaranteed. Deal includes a $1.5MM sack-based incentive, Wilson tweets.
  • De’Vante Bausby, CB (Broncos): One year, $825K. The deal contains no guaranteed money, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.

Contract Details: Lawson, Trufant, Shelton, Witten,

Kyler Fackrell (Giants), One year, $4.6MM, $3.5MM guaranteed, base salary 2020: $2.6MM, $2MM roster bonus, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

Antonio Hamilton (Chiefs), One year, $1.047MM, $887.5k guaranteed, $137.5k signing bonus; salary 2020: $910k ($750k guaranteed), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Shaq Lawson (Dolphins), Three years, $30MM, $21MM guaranteed, $4MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $6.4MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $7.9MM (fully guaranteed), 2022: $8.9MM; $2.5MM fully guaranteed roster bonus in 2020, $100k workout bonus in 2020-2021, potential $2MM in annual incentives, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

John Miller (Panthers), One year, $4MM, $2MM guaranteed, $2MM signing bonus; salary 2020: $1.79MM; $160k in per-game roster bonuses, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Danny Shelton (Lions), Two years, $8MM, $4MM guaranteed, $2.5MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $1.5MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $4MM, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.

Desmond Trufant (Lions), Two years, $20MM, $14MM guaranteed, $5MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $4.5MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $9.5MM ($4.5MM guaranteed for injury at signing); $500k in annual per-game roster bonuses, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jihad Ward (Ravens), One year, $1.047MM, $637.5k guaranteed, $137.5k signing bonus; salary 2020: $910,000 ($500,000 guaranteed), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jaylen Watkins (Texans), Two years, $3MM, $300k guaranteed, $300k guaranteed; salaries 2020: $1.1MM, 2021: $1.4MM; 200k first-game roster bonus in 2020, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jason Witten (Raiders), One year, $4MM, $3.5MM guaranteed; salary 2020: $3.5MM (fully guaranteed); $500k in per-game roster bonuses, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Contract Details: Mayo, Patriots, Bailey

A handful of contract details to pass along:

  • LB David Mayo, Giants: three-year extension. $8.4MM deal, including $3.5MM guaranteed. Salaries: $1.5MM guaranteed (2020), $2.25MM (2021), $2.5MM (2022). Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • WR Damiere Byrd, Patriots: one year, $2.5MM. $1MM base salary, $350K signing bonus, $900K in receptions incentives. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.
  • S Adrian Phillips, Patriots: two years. Deal worth up to $7.5MM, $3MM guaranteed, $1.5MM signing bonus. Can earn up to $4MM in 2020. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • K Dan Bailey, Vikings: re-signed. Three-year deal worth up to $12MM. $5MM guaranteed, $3.15MM signing bonus. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • OL Joe Looney, Cowboys: signed. One-year, $2.4375MM deal. As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets, one of the new CBA’s veteran benefits is that the deal will count $1.25MM less on the cap than it would have last season.
  • OT Shon Coleman, 49ers: one-year extension. Worth $962.5K, including $825K base salary and $137.5K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter.
  • DB Jaylen Watkins, Texans: signed. Two-year deal worth $3MM, per Wilson.
  • OT Roderick Johnson, Texans: re-signed. One-year deal worth $1.75MM, per Wilson.

Texans To Sign Brent Qvale

Another offensive lineman is off the board. The Texans are signing offensive tackle Brent Qvale, a source told Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link). It’s a one-year pact Berman added in a follow-up tweet, although the finances weren’t immediately available. 

The Texans don’t have a ton of cap space, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle had tweeted yesterday that they were taking a look at swing tackles they could get on a budget. It appears they’ve now found their man. Qvale signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, and spent the past six seasons in New York. He was placed on injured reserve at the start of last season but was activated late in the year, appearing in three games and starting one.

He operated as the Jets’ swing tackle for a while, and started 11 games between 2016 and 2017. Houston will enter 2020 with Laremy Tunsil as their left tackle and Tytus Howard as their right tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/20

Today’s running list of minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released: P Ryan Allen (this is only a procedural move and Allen is expected to be re-signed shortly, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.)

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers