On August 31, 2019, the Houston Texans sent shockwaves throughout the NFL by trading two first-round picks, a second-round pick, cornerback Johnson Bademosi and tackle Julien Davenport to the Miami Dolphins for star left tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills, and a fourth and sixth-round pick. This was a huge blockbuster trade and the Houston Texans were the clear winners of this trade. Let’s break down both sides of this trade.
This move had to be made for the sake of their franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Last season, Watson cemented himself as the team’s future with 4,165 yards, 26 touchdowns, only nine interceptions, led the Texans to an 11-5 record, and an AFC South division title. However, Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times and in their 21-7 playoff loss to the Colts, Watson was pressured all game long. That many hits can take a toll on a young quarterback and the Texans, with all their failures in the past, cannot afford to risk the future of their young star quarterback.
After all, look what happened to a division rival of theirs.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck retired at the prime age of 29 due to being under immense pressure under a weak offensive line and the toll it took on his body became too much to handle. Luck was a future great quarterback ruined by a poor offensive line and they do not want the same thing happening to Deshaun Watson.
Also, when the Texans first became a franchise, they drafted quarterback David Carr with the first overall pick. The Texans poor offensive line ruined his career early as he was sacked 76 times in his rookie season.
Laremy Tunsil has been a rock-solid tackle for Miami in his first three seasons in the league as he has only given up 8.5 sacks in his career and only 1.5 a season ago. He will be able to help bolster the O-line this season for Watson and since he is only 25 years old, he will be able to protect Watson for years if he continues to stay healthy.
Also, the Texans added the deep threat and dependable wide receiver Kenny Stills. This is huge as last season, they lost wide receivers Keke Coutee, Demaryius Thomas, and Will Fuller to injuries. Now, they added more receiver depth to their team.
While this team gave up multiple high draft picks, they are built to win now and with the rest of the division inconsistent, battered, and at a crossroads, the time for them to take control of the division is now.
As mentioned above, it is very important to protect a young franchise quarterback with a good offensive line. After this trade, the Dolphins’ offensive line is filled with youth, inexperience and injury-prone veterans. This is not promising for Josh Rosen, who just left a Cardinals team with a similarly bad offensive line and is now set up to get battered again. If the Dolphins end up taking the next franchise quarterback (Tua Tagovailoa) with the potential number one pick in this upcoming NFL Draft, they will not have a decent offensive line to protect him.
They could get another tackle with the picks. However, they are hoping they get one as good as the one they just got rid of. It’s the same problem I had with the Raiders trading Khalil Mack. The Dolphins could have kept Tunsil and have him protect Rosen this season and whoever they draft down the road. This was a mistake and I really hope this doesn’t end up ruining another promising career.
Photo via Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle