HOUSTON – Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil told ESPN on Wednesday he wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid tackle.
“I don’t know who’s the highest right now, maybe Trent [Williams] for $23 [million], but I want to do it at the top,” Tunsil told ESPN. “I always want to restore the market. A perfect opportunity to revive the market. Everything is according to my contract, how I play. Everything is coming together 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 enter the final season of the three-year, $66 million extension he signed in 2020. General manager Nick Caserio has 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 this 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 contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2021. Of that, $55.1 million was fully guaranteed at $30.1 million. signing bonus.
Starting in 2023, Tunsil will have a base salary of $18.5 million and a cap hit of $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 long-term security.
His production ranked with the best in the NFL. His pass completion percentage (92.0%) was 12th-best in tackles as he allowed just one sack all year (tied for second-fewest) and allowed 12 pressures (third-fewest).
“Something that motivated me in the offseason was an article that came out that said I was a very good starter,” Tunsil said. “So it gave me your fuel to just get back to playing football because I missed 12 games last year with a thumb injury. But just came back to show everyone that I’m the best fight.”
Tunsil is hoping to earn first- or second-team All-Pro honors, which he has never earned in his career.
“Let me honor the Pro Bowl. It’s nice to be a Pro Bowl starter, getting the votes of the coaches and the players, so I’m blessed to have that opportunity,” Tunsil said. “To [potentially] get an All-Pro nod? Man, I worked all seven years to be an All-Pro. I feel like that’s one of the biggest accomplishments in the NFL.”