On Sunday morning, the Houston Texans were involved in two big moves that reverberated throughout the NFL. First, the team completed a contract extension for its left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Almost simultaneously, we learned that the team was trading its wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Dallas Cowboys.
These two moves are of interest to the Kansas City Chiefs (and their fans) in at least three ways:
1. Tunsil isn’t coming to the Chiefs
Before Kansas City signed tackle Jawaan Taylor to a four-year, $80 million contract, there were reports that the Chiefs were interested in trading for Tunsil to replace their free-agent left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who has now been signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. Even after Taylor was signed, these Tunsil-to-Kansas-City rumors persisted. They may now be put to rest.
2. The league’s left tackle market has been reset
According to reports, Tunsil’s extension is for three years and $75 million, including a $30 million signing bonus, $50 million fully guaranteed and $60 million in total guarantees. With a contract worth $25 million per year, that makes Tunsil the league’s highest-paid tackle. This is good news for the Chiefs, who now have Taylor committed to four years at 20% below the top of the market. As long as Taylor performs at a high level (whether it is at left or right tackle) his contract will be a good deal. It is bad news for Brown, whose contract is now 36% below the league’s top deal at his position. That’s a long way from being the league’s best-paid tackle.
3. The Cowboys are out on big-name wide receivers
Dallas (along with the Chiefs, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills) has been among the teams reported to have been interested in free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. After trading a 2023 fifth and 2024 sixth-round pick to acquire Cooks — who will cost the Cowboys $12.4 million against the cap this season and $16.4 million in 2024 — it seems less likely that Dallas will be competing against Kansas City (and any other teams) for Beckham’s services. While we don’t have a strong read on the Chiefs’ precise level of interest in the eight-year NFL veteran, the Cowboys’ likely exit from this season’s OBJ Sweepstakes probably reduces Beckham’s potential cost.