By David Aaro
Published August 31, 2019
The Miami Dolphins are trading left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans for two first-round picks, a second-round pick, offensive tackle Julién Davenport and cornerback Johnson Bademosi, according to multiple reports.
The Texans will also receive a fourth-round draft pick in the proposed deal, which comes after they agreed to ship Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the day. The trade will be made official after the players involved pass a physical exam.
Tunsil, the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, immediately improves a Houston line which allowed Deshaun Watson to be sacked an NFL-leading 62 times last season.
The move leaves the Dolphins without arguably their best player and comes on the heels of a Miami Herald report that stated the team's locker room would "revolt" if Tunsil was traded.
“The backlash would be amazing,” a source told the paper. “Guys would legit revolt.”
Stills, 27, who spent the last four seasons with Miami, recently criticized Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross for putting on a fundraiser for President Donald Trump, and looked askance at rapper Jay-Z's recent partnership with the NFL.
In response, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores played eight straight Jay-Z songs during a training camp practice, calling it a challenge to the receiver to improve his performance.
"I would say, and I said this to him, he hasn't performed up to that level over the course of training camp, or as I've seen. So that was the challenge, to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team, regardless of what's going on outside of this building," Flores said.
Now it appears instead of cutting the wide receiver, the Dolphins are letting the Texans pick up his $7,975,000 base salary for 2019.
Tunsil's salary is a manageable $2.15 million for this season before jumping to $10.35 million in 2020.
Following the trade, Miami looks to be in full rebuilding mode and the team now has a myriad of picks in the 2020 and 2021 NFL drafts. They now have four first-rounders and four second-rounders in the next two NFL drafts.
The Dolphins have repeatedly denied they're tanking in 2019. But they're widely expected to be among the NFL's worst teams, and the trade increases the likelihood they'll secure a high draft pick and take a franchise quarterback in the first round next April.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.