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NFL Draft: Teams 'Cash In' On Texans Tunsil Trade

Almost two years on from the blockbuster trade that saw Pro Bowl tackle Laremy Tunsil heading to the Houston Texans, teams begin cashing in on the final picks given up for the former Dolphin.

Back in September of 2019, the Houston Texans traded two first-round picks, a second-round pick, and two players for Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Much criticized since for the heavy price paid, the latter of the two firsts has finally been used and the bulk of this questionable trade is finally over.

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Houston’s two first-rounders ended up going toward two quarterbacks. Starting with Jordan Love to the Green Bay Packers in 2020 and now quarterback Trey Lance to the San Francisco 49ers this year. The final pick Houston traded away will be the 36th overall selection, which will be announced on Friday.

Had Houston not traded these picks away, the Texans could have found a number of impact players sticking within the draft. The likes of linebacker Patrick Queen, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. all went within the next 20 picks of their 26th in 2020. 

Meanwhile, while this year’s prospects remain just prospects at this time, they would have had their pick of all but two players.

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Overall, this trade was, in some regards, the nail in the coffin for Bill O'Brien's era as Texans general manager and head coach. 

While they have now got one of the best tackles in the NFL, O'Brien was only able to sign him to a three-year deal, $50 million of which was fully guaranteed. 

Not only did this mean Tunsil is set to hit free agency after the 2023 season, but it also meant that along with the likes of Deshaun Watson, Whitney Mercilus, and Zach Cunningham, this Texans roster became incredibly top-heavy leaving little cap space to build quality depth elsewhere on the roster. 

Thankfully, new general manager Nick Caserio has so far done a good job of clearing out the roster, freeing up cap space where he can, and building depth. But only time will tell if he is able to get more out of Houston's draft picks than O'Brien could.

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