INDIANAPOLIS -- Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team is "open-minded" when it came to options for the No. 3 pick. Would that include potentially trading Pro Bowl offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil?
Caserio said he's spoken with Tunsil, but did not offer any clarity about his status moving forward. Tunsil has become the subject of trade rumors as Houston continues to rebuild following a 4-13 season.
Sources have suggested to TexansDaily.com that Tunsil would invite a trade.
"We’ll see how it goes here once we get moving," Caserio said. "We’re kind of going through the whole team-building process as we speak. So, we’ve got a lot of players that are under contract, so we’ll be pretty busy here the next couple of weeks."
Tunsil signed a three-year extension prior to the start of the 2020 season worth $66 million. He underwent surgery after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb in a Week 5 loss to the New England Patriots. Then-coach David Culley said that Tunsil would "week-to-week" in his recovery and was only expected to miss roughly a month.
The two-time Pro Bowler did not play another down. Culley officially announced that he was "unlikely to play again" in late December prior to the team's final two games.
Houston currently looking at all positions entering the combine. If the team were to draft a tackle early with the No. 3 selection, names such as N.C. State's Ikem Ekwonu, Alabama's Evan Neal or Mississippi State's Charles Cross all could be in play.
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One team Tunsil has been linked to is current reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Joe Burrow was a sacked a Super Bowl-tying record seven times on the way to a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Several former Bengals players, including former Ole Miss teammate Mike Hilton, have been in contact with Tunsil via social media. Cincinnati director of player personnel Duke Tobin said the team is looking to upgrade its offensive line.
Cincinnati, which currently owns the No. 31 pick, very well could package a deal around its first-round selection to acquire Tunsil. Such a move would mirror recent title-team history.
After failing to protect quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs traded the No. 31 pick, along with their 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for tackle Orlando Brown.
Along with the additions of offensive guard Joe Thuney and the additions of rookies Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith, Kansas City allowed just 28 sacks, third-fewest in the league.
"Laremy’s under contract. He’s been a good player for us," Caserio said. "So we’ll kind of see how it all goes.”