Bill O’Brien denies link between Andrew Luck retirement and trading for Laremy Tunsil

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A popular theory has emerged regarding the notion that the Texans overpaid for tackle Laremy Tunsil in order to ensure that quarterback Deshaun Watson doesn’t become so bruised and battered that he considers following Andrew Luck into early retirement. Texans coach Bill O’Brien was asked be reporters whether there’s a connection between trading for Tunsil and Luck leaving.

“None,” O’Brien said.

So why give up so much to get Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills?

“I think he’s smart, tough, dependable,” O’Brien said of Tunsil. “I think he’s athletic. I think he’s a guy that we scouted when he was coming out of college. We have several people here that are very familiar with him. [Director of college scouting] James Liipfert did a lot of work on him when he was in New England relative to when Laremy was in college. So, we have a lot of people, in addition to James, that are very familiar with him and we’re excited about watching him on tape and what he can bring to our offense. He’s come in here, you can tell he’s humble and hungry and he’s looking forward to being a Texan.”

Obviously, O’Brien believes Tunsil’s presence will assist Watson’s development.

“I think it’s a good addition to our roster for a lot of different reasons,” O’Brien said. “I think that when you look at Laremy, yes he is an excellent pass protector, but there’s so many other things he can do. He can run block, he’s able to get his pads down, he works well with the guys next to him whether it’s a tight end to his left or a guard to his right, he works very well with the guys next to him, he can pull out on screens. He’s a very smart player, he’s a very instinctive player and he’s played guard before. We’re not going to line him up at guard unless we had to, but he’s done that before, so he’s got a versatile skillset. I think that everyone is excited about adding him to the team.”

Perhaps too excited, because the Texans didn’t sign Tunsil to a new contract before trading for him.

“I would tell you this, I’ve heard that out there,” O’Brien said. “That question has been asked. I would never ever talk about any contract negotiations with any player, between the club and the player.”

The fact that the two sides would be at the negotiation stage after the trade happened is the problem. Once the trade occurs, the leverage swings to the player, who can push for more and more and more since the Texans gave up so much to get him.

7 responses to “Bill O’Brien denies link between Andrew Luck retirement and trading for Laremy Tunsil

  1. Because If he doesn’t win this year he doesn’t need the draft picks next year he won’t be there

  2. That theory gives O’Brien too much credit – if he was that deep he’d have got a better deal.

  3. “Once the trade occurs, the leverage swings to the player, who can push for more and more and more since the Texans gave up so much to get him.”

    Tunsil is under contract for 2 more seasons, with the team holding Franchise Tag options for 2 seasons after that. No need to already have a new contract in place considering the team controls his rights through the remainder of his 20’s.

  4. I don’t agree with the player leverage point in the post. The Texans had zero leverage with Tunsil before the trade so they have no less leverage after the trade. Besides they have the cap room to pay the man.

  5. The Texans have been trying to fix their line for years and Matt Kalil was horrendous in camp, in inter-squads, and in the preseason. The move had to do with fixing the Texans not looking at the Colts.

  6. No mention of the political activist then. Tunsil and Stills are good players but not 2 x firsts and a second and what else they threw in. But it does show they are at least concerned about tying to keep Watson urpright. But you also have to look at the idiots that passed on Tunsil because of that pre draft video. Thanks to the individual who was responsible for that, we got a good player and now a plethora of top notch draft picks.

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