The Houston Texans are in active discussions with left tackle Laremy Tunsil regarding a contract extension, multiple media outlets reported on Monday.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the sides still have a significant gap to bridge. Per the report, the Texans' initial offer included an annual average of $18.5 million, but Tunsil -- who is not formally represented by an agency at the moment -- countered with "a significantly higher offer," as he seeks at least $20 million annually.
The league's highest-paid offensive tackle by annual average is Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson at $18 million. The highest-paid left tackle is the Indianapolis Colts' Anthony Castonzo at $16.5 million, after the 31-year-old re-signed with the team on a two-year deal earlier this month.
Tunsil, 25, is set to make $10.35 million in 2020, the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.
The Chronicle also reported Tunsil does not plan to hire a formal agent for now, after he fired Creative Artists Agency shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Texans acquired Tunsil in a blockbuster trade just prior to the 2019 regular season, sending first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 plus a second-rounder in 2021 and two other players to the Miami Dolphins for Tunsil, wideout Kenny Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick and 2021 sixth-rounder.
Tunsil started 14 games in his first season with the Texans, reaching his first career Pro Bowl, though he also committed a league-high 17 accepted penalties, including 14 false starts.
Head coach Bill O'Brien has made it clear he sees Tunsil as a major part of the Texans' future, saying in January, "I can unequivocally state to you that we want Laremy here for a long time."
Earlier Monday, Tunsil announced on social media that he is donating $250,000 toward COVID-19 relief, benefiting those in need in Houston and in his hometown of Lake City, Fla.
--Field Level Media