Pro Bowl LT Engages With Patrick Mahomes Amid Chiefs Trade Rumors

Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce

Getty Kansas City Chiefs superstars Patrick Mahomes II and Travis Kelce on the golf course together.

ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano revealed one final Kansas City Chiefs trade rumor ahead of free agency during an article on the morning of March 12.

“One potential trade target I’m watching is Houston left tackle Laremy Tunsil,” Graziano voiced. “The Texans have resisted trading him in recent years, but he has just one year and a nonguaranteed $18.5 million left on his contract and could be a target of the Chiefs if they aren’t able to bring back Orlando Brown Jr.”

This obviously comes on the heels of the news that Brown will not be franchise tagged for a second straight offseason in 2023. If this last-second rumor isn’t enough to entice KC fans though, Tunsil threw some gasoline on the fire when he was caught engaging with one of Patrick Mahomes’ tweets after Graziano’s mention.

Laremy Tunsil Retweets Cryptic Message From Patrick Mahomes

The comment was, potentially, an innocent one from Mahomes — but it quickly went viral either way as fans ran wild with speculation.

“NFL is going to be wild this next week! 🍿🍿🍿” The Chiefs signal-caller voiced on social media to the tune of 27K likes and over 2K retweets/quotes. The seven-year NFL starter, Tunsil, counted for one of those retweets, sharing the reigning MVP’s thoughts on his personal timeline.

Chiefs Wire’s Charles Goldman then screenshotted Tunsil’s Twitter feed, stating that it’s “probably nothing,” but “maybe something” — with the Graziano news shared underneath.

As a rookie, Tunsil became infamous because of a gas mask video that scared off suitors in the top 10. The left tackle ended up falling to the Miami Dolphins at pick No. 13, and he has had a solid career since with three Pro Bowl nods and 14 or more starts in six out of his first seven NFL seasons.

In 2022, the veteran blocker finally addressed the pre-draft incident publicly.

Tunsil voiced candidly: “For the past 6 years, I’ve been asked about this moment. The gas mask. I’ve spent 6 years trying to do rather than say – on the field and off the field. Fall 2021 I spoke with @complex for the first time about this moment and today, the day before #draftday, I’m officially moving on and putting this moment in the past. I’m minting a 1 of 1 NFT of the infamous gas mask video to be listed.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit @lastprisonerprj which supports those incarcerated for cannabis offenses.”

He concluded at the time: “I’m looking toward and excited for the future and am grateful for all of those that supported me on my draft night and those that have and will continue to support my journey!”

Laremy Tunsil Needs New Contract After Potential Chiefs Trade

It’s unclear if the Chiefs would consider replacing a former trade acquisition in Brown with another one in Tunsil — but if they do, the Texans left tackle will need a new contract.

Entering his age 29 season, Tunsil carries a massive $35.2 million cap hit in 2023 according to Over the Cap. A trade would save Houston a little over half of that ($18.5 million).

Now obviously, no one is acquiring that cap hit without a plan, and the most likely solution is an extension that spreads out Tunsil’s contract over a multi-year period. Would Kansas City be willing to extend a player they’ve never worked with, however? Especially after they just spent an entire summer denying Brown the same long-term insurance.

That all depends on Tunsil’s price tag. Brown wanted to reset the offensive tackle market and the Chiefs clearly felt differently about his talent level. Perhaps, the Dolphins and Texans vet is willing to sign at a more team friendly rate. After all, he did retweet Mahomes!

Either way, any trade by KC would include a chat between general manager Brett Veach and Tunsil’s agent. If the two camps hammered out the framework of a long-term agreement — with the Texans permission, of course — that could result in a trade-and-sign scenario, filling the current void on Mahomes’ blindside with some reliable experience.