Laremy Tunsil

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/16/21

The Week 6 Saturday minor move blitz:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Laremy Tunsil To Undergo Thumb Surgery

The Texans will be without their top offensive lineman for the foreseeable future. Laremy Tunsil is slated to undergo thumb surgery Thursday, first-year Texans HC David Culley said.

Culley said Tunsil is expected to miss around four weeks, ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop tweets. This points to an IR stay for the veteran left tackle. Tunsil has made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons in Houston. Tunsil suffered a full UCL tear in his thumb, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

While little was expected from the Texans this year, they played well against the Patriots in Week 5. Davis Mills enjoyed by far his best game, totaling 312 passing yards and three touchdown tosses. Tunsil’s injury stands to make the third-round QB pick’s development more difficult. The Texans face the Colts in Week 6. Their bye arrives in Week 10, so Tunsil returning the following week would make sense.

Houston has first-round talent Tytus Howard at guard for the time being, and Culley confirmed the third-year blocker will stay inside rather than move to left tackle to fill in for Tunsil. That is the plan for this week, at least. The Texans have Tunsil attached to a three-year, $66MM deal that runs through 2023.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Giants, Tunsil, Gronkowski

It sounds like Saquon Barkley avoided a serious injury. The Giants star running back is believed to have suffered a low-ankle sprain, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

The injury will knock him out of Sunday’s contest against the Rams, but he’ll otherwise be considered week-to-week. Earlier today, Giants head coach Joe Judge seemed to confirm that Barkley avoided a serious injury.

“In terms of the X-rays that came back, (it was) better news than it could’ve been for us,” Judge said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). “[S]o it was a little bit of a sigh of relief with a couple of things just knowing the player and what he’s battled through.”

After being limited to only two games in 2020, Barkley had started each of New York’s first five games in 2021. The 24-year-old has collected 325 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on 68 touches.

More injury notes from around the NFL:

  • One of Barkley’s teammates was also lucky. Giants wideout Kenny Golladay will miss Sunday’s game, but the free agent acquisition avoided a “major” injury, per Rapoport (on Twitter). There was a “major sigh of relief” following the diagnosis, which has since been confirmed as a hyperextended knee (via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Twitter). Golladay has disappointed to start his career in New York, hauling in only 17 receptions through five games.
  • Another Giants player wasn’t so lucky. Rookie Rodarius Williams tore his ACL against the Cowboys yesterday, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (via Twitter). The rookie sixth-round pick has seen time in all five games this season, collecting one tackle.
  • Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil suffered a torn UCL in his thumb during yesterday’s loss to the Patriots, reports Rapoport (via Twitter). The Pro Bowler will eventually need surgery, but the organization is hoping Tunsil can play through the injury and hold off surgery for the time being. The former first-round pick has missed at least one regular season game in each of his five full seasons.
  • Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski could end up playing on Thursday against the Eagles. Head coach Bruce Arians said Gronk is “very close” to returning to the field (per NFL.com). After collecting four touchdowns through his first three games of the season, the 32-year-old has missed the past two games while he recovered from a rib injury.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/30/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 3pm CT Tuesday to pare their rosters down to 53 players.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Darron Lee

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/13/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Chicago Bears

  • Waived: WR Thomas Ives

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Texans Restructure Laremy Tunsil, Brandin Cooks Contracts

The Texans have restructured Laremy Tunsil‘s top-market tackle contract, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes. This will create $10.1MM in cap space for the rebuilding team.

Tunsil’s 2021 base salary will drop to $990K, with the funds being transferred to a $15.1MM signing bonus, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The highly paid left tackle’s deal still runs through the 2023 season.

Despite being in clear rebuilding mode, with Deshaun Watson‘s murky status with the team making the stage of that rebuild somewhat uncertain, the Texans have been active in free agency and on the trade market. They traded for Shaq Lawson and Marcus Cannon and signed the likes of Phillip Lindsay, Tyrod Taylor, Jordan Jenkins, Desmond King and others. Tunsil’s restructure helped; so did a recent Brandin Cooks move.

The Texans’ Cooks restructure created $6MM in cap space, with ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop noting the deal does adjust the duration of Cooks’ contract. Cooks’ five-year, $80MM Rams extension ran through the 2023 season. His recent restructure voided one of those years, putting the 27-year-old wideout under contract through 2022.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

COVID-19 Latest: Browns, Texans, Panthers

The Browns have closed their facility and delayed their flight to New Jersey because of a positive COVID-19 test. They are performing contract tracing ahead of their scheduled noon CT Sunday game against the Jets. While the Browns placed Jedrick Wills on their reserve/COVID-19 list, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports the rookie left tackle did not test positive for the coronavirus. He and practice squad wideout Ryan Switzer are close contacts. However, Wills is expected to be pulled off the Browns’ virus list in order to start Sunday, Cabot adds. Cleveland indeed activated Wills off its reserve/COVID list but placed linebacker B.J. Goodson on it ahead of Sunday’s game. Goodson tested positive, Cabot reports. The Browns are planning to depart Cleveland at some point tonight, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.

Here is the latest from the NFL’s COVID-19 front:

  • Deshaun Watson‘s restaurant opening has caused an issue for the Texans. Watson and other Houston players were photographed maskless at the recent indoor event, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Watson received a $7.5K fine. The Texans levied fines against some of his teammates as well, with ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop noting Laremy Tunsil, Brandin Cooks and Tytus Howard were among those at the event.
  • Whitney Mercilus now resides on the Texans’ reserve/COVID-19 list, and the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson reports he tested positive for the virus (Twitter link). This is Mercilus’ second time on the COVID list; he landed there in November as a close contact of then-COVID-positive linebacker Jacob Martin. This will end Mercilus’ season — his ninth with the Texans. Thanks to his December 2019 extension, Mercilus is signed through the 2023 season.
  • The Panthersdustup with COVID earlier this month produced a series of fines. The team handed out fines of at least $10K to players who broke virus protocols during the team’s bye week earlier this month, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Wideouts D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel and Shaq Thompson, Derrick Brown and Greg Little were among those placed on the COVID list.
  • After the Broncos were forced to use practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback earlier this season, the NFL tweaked its protocol to help teams in the event similar trouble emerges. Players already receiving COVID testing will be permitted to make their debuts for new teams without having to take virus tests six days apart, Pelissero tweets. This would allow for a team to sign a player off another team’s practice squad late in the week and use him in a game in an emergency scenario.
  • Washington fined Dwayne Haskins $40K for breaking COVID protocols for the second time this season but did not suspend him.

Trade Notes: Harris, Texans, Geno, Browns

After trading Yannick Ngakoue, the Vikings appear to be reopening the door to dealing their franchise player. Anthony Harris is again available, per Albert Breer of SI.com. The Vikings discussed at least one tag-and-trade deal involving the 2019 breakout player-turned-tag recipient this offseason but moved forward with Harris as a starter for the third season. The price was believed to be a Day 2 pick at that point. Harris has more than half of his $11.4MM tag salary due. Harris joins safety mate Harrison Smith, tight end Kyle Rudolph and left tackle Riley Reiff as available Viking veterans.

Here is more from the trade market, with five days to go until the deadline:

  • We have heard trade rumors surrounding the bulk of the Texans‘ receiving corps. The Packers, among others, inquired about Will Fuller; Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks have also come up in talks. The Texans are prepared to part with any of their wideouts — for the right offer, of course. Every Texan except Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Laremy Tunsil and right tackle Tytus Howard is available, Breer adds. Fuller and Kenny Stills are on expiring contracts; Cobb is signed through 2022; Cooks through ’23.
  • NFL INT leader Xavien Howard has surfaced as a name to watch ahead of the deadline. While the Dolphins have fielded calls on the fifth-year cornerback, they have not received a firm offer, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. The Dolphins also appear dead-set against dealing Howard, with Jackson adding that it would likely take multiple first-round picks (an unrealistic ask) for Miami to consider a deal. Howard is in the first season of a five-year, $75MM contract.
  • The Bengals traded all-time sack leader Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks, and teams are wondering if the franchise’s No. 2 all-time sacker (Geno Atkins) is available. Teams have contacted the Bengals on the 11th-year defensive tackle but have been told he is not being traded, Breer notes. Atkins is signed through 2022, and although he has voiced frustration about his role, the Bengals will hang onto the perennial Pro Bowler.
  • In the thick of the AFC playoff race at 5-2, the Browns may still be dangling Olivier Vernon. Although the veteran defensive end came off Cleveland’s trade block this summer, the Browns shopped him for a while. They may be doing so again, with Breer indicating the 30-year-old edge rusher is being viewed as available. However, the Browns would move to replace the veteran opposite Myles Garrett. They were in on the first Nkagoue sweepstakes in August but lost out to the Vikings. In the final year of his contract, Vernon does not have a sack this season.
  • Entering their Week 8 game, the Panthers may be straddling the buyer-seller line at 3-4. However, they are still in a rebuilding phase in Matt Rhule‘s first season. Any buyer’s deal Carolina makes would be for a player controllable beyond this season rather than a rental who could help the team secure a wild-card spot, Joe Person of The Athletic writes (subscription required).
  • Prior to signing Mohamed Sanu as injury insurance this year, the 49ers finished second to the Patriots for Sanu at last year’s deadline. The 49ers offered the Falcons a third-round pick for Sanu, Breer notes, but the Pats gave up a second-round pick. San Francisco’s subsequent Emmanuel Sanders addition ended up being more impactful, and Sanu is currently training for his next opportunity.

Contract Details: Tunsil, Texans, Fales, Jets

Details on a couple of recent NFL deals:

  • Laremy Tunsil‘s three-year, $66MM extension with the Texans has been officially processed, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The add-on starts in 2021 and takes him through the 2024 season. All together, it comes out to a $76.35MM arrangement with $40MM fully guaranteed and $50MM effectively guaranteed. The deal also calls for an escalation in cap hits, giving Houston more short-term flexibility – Tunsil is set to count for cap hits of $14.1MM, $19.4MM, $21.1MM, and $21.75MM in each of the next four seasons.
  • The Jets‘ one-year deal with quarterback David Fales is worth $910K – the veteran’s minimum – with just $100K guaranteed (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of The Athletic). It’s a low-cost deal that will allow the Jets to keep Fales on the 53-man roster if they wish, or drop him this summer without much of a cap penalty. For now, he’ll fight for a spot behind Sam Darnold, alongside fourth-round pick James Morgan.

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.