Texans GM Bill O'Brien: 'We Knew Laremy Tunsil Was Going To Get Paid'

(SportsRadio 610) -- Laremy Tunsil became the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when he finalized a three-year extension with the Texans.
There had been criticism of the Texans for not negotiating a long-term deal with the Pro Bowl left tackle when they traded for him from the Miami Dolphins last year. 

It would make sense to want some security there, given how the Texans traded away their next two first-round draft picks to get Tunsil.

Nevertheless, he arrived to Houston to play his fourth NFL season, with a fifth-year option lingering on his rookie contract. 

Tunsil was able to negotiate his own deal, without an agent. He spent about a month and a half negotiating with the Texans.

Texans head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien said in order to work out a contract within a trade, the other team has to agree to it. 

So, the Texans had a decision to make -- trade for Tunsil without an agreed upon long-term deal, or leave the trade on the table and roll the dice at left tackle.

"We knew one way or the other, whether we did the contract during the trade or post-trade like we did, we knew that Laremy Tunsil was going to get paid because we feel like he is the top left tackle in the National Football League," O'Brien told reporters on a conference all Friday. "We went ahead and made that trade to make our team better and we had a good year with Laremy. There's a lot of things that he's going to be more comfortable within our offense this year. He's going to be a better player this year. He played very well for us, our sack total dropped about 20 to 25 from the previous year with him in the lineup.

"We had a great negotiation with Laremy. He was very honest, we were very honest, very up front. Jack Easterby was very instrumental in the negotiation with Laremy and his team and earlier today we were able to come to an agreement and we're thrilled. We're thrilled to have Laremy Tunsil on our team. He's a great guy, he's really committed to the Houston Texans, he's committed to the city of Houston. He understands how important it is to be out in front relative to all of the things we can do help the community in Houston, so we're thrilled. "

O'Brien was asked how he could forecast making the decision to sign Tunsil to an extension ahead of time.

“I think it's very important to forecast to the best of your ability. That's where your scouting department really comes into play," O'Brien said. "I think our scouts do a great job. When Matt Bazirgan and James Liipfert, Rob Kisiel, these guys and all the guys underneath them, they really work hard to not only scout the NFL, the college game, but they also look into the future and kind of give us an idea a year out, two years out, what the draft might look like, what everything might look like. I think when you look back at the moves that we've made relative to that position, I think we've made the right moves.

"We were able to go out and secure a left tackle in Laremy Tunsil. We had him on a rookie contract, so this year was a good deal for the Houston Texans because we had a Pro Bowl left tackle playing on a rookie contract. We were able to come to an agreement with him, which is a really good deal for the Houston Texans and if you look at the way the draft went ... it would've been very difficult to draft a great left tackle in the first round where we may have been sitting. We feel good about where we're at and I think that's a good observation, a good question that you have. We work hard to try to stay ahead of the game on those things.”

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