It’s quickly becoming evident that Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil is a rising star. He rarely allows sacks, he’s improving in the run game, and he’s still under contract for the next two seasons thanks to the NFL’s fifth-year option. However, it would be wise for Miami to lock him up before it gets to that point.
True, Tunsil is not the kind of person who will show up to camp in an armored truck to express his desire to get paid. That distinction lays solely on the shoulder of Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
What an arrival —must be the money Jalen Ramsey pic.twitter.com/p7YhfMXJfG
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) July 24, 2019
But this does not mean that leaving Tunsil without a long-term contract is a smart move. Tunsil would earn a pretty penny on the free agent market, and the longer he goes without a new contract, the more expensive he projects to be.
This is precisely why the Dolphins made an excellent move locking up star cornerback Xavien Howard before his contract ran out. As a core member of the team, Howard is expected to be a staple of the defense for years to come. And while he’s the highest paid corner in football right now, that easily could change in 2020. Young stars Trae Waynes and Marcus Peters are set to be free agents in 2020. Between the two of them, they’re bound to command at least as much as Howard, if not more. If they had signed first, it would have increased Howard’s price by default.
Fortunately, Tunsil seems focused on football now that camp is in session.
“That’s not a concern for me right now.” He said Thursday after practice. “I’m trying to be the best that I can be and help the team any way I can, and just keep it going day-by-day.”
Day by day, he’s proving to everyone he’s worth the title of franchise left tackle, in spite of certain assumptions. NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger recently called Tunsil the best young left tackle in football. High praise, given how many excellent left tackles there are in the league.
.@MiamiDolphins @KingTunsil78 is the best young OT in the @NFL today and has a chance to be the best OT in the game. Consistency of his set is a clinic. His run game can improve but he is only 24 and ascending. I will post a longer video detailing the KING’s BIZ #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/rWDDfqnjSj
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) July 15, 2019
But does Tunsil want to be paid like he’s the best?
“Day-by-day, man.” He said. “We’ll see. I’m going to let my actions talk.”
Noncommittal to be sure, but that’s to be expected from the low-key Tunsil. One thing he did say though is that he would love to remain in Miami for the rest of his career.
“I would love that.” He said. “I would love to be with one organization for the rest of my career. That’s just a goal for everybody. Nobody wants to leave.”
The stability of staying with one organization for a whole career is a rarity to be sure. With any luck, Tunsil will get his wish. Which means the Dolphins, who want to keep Laremy Tunsil for a long time, will get theirs as well.