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Laremy Tunsil trade rumors: Should the Giants be interested?

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Should the Giants put in a bid if the Miami Dolphins put Laremy Tunsil on the trading block?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Giants could acquire a young starting offensive tackle with intriguing upside, they should probably

Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have put Laremy Tunsil on the trading block.

The Dolphins have reportedly denied that Tunsil is being dangled as trade bait.

If Tunsil is truly available for trade, should the Giants be interested?

The Giants’ offensive line is expected to be improved over the 2018 version of the unit, but it is an aging line with issues at the tackle position.

Newly-signed free agent Mike Remmers has never been a stand-out tackle and is only a short-term stopgap. Meanwhile left tackle Nate Solder is coming off one of his worst seasons, giving up 8 sacks in 2018 but is one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the NFL.

The Giants had the opportunity to draft Tunsil in the first round of the 2016 draft despite him being a consensus Top 5 talent at the time. Rumors at the time suggested that Giants co-owner John Mara had a standing order to avoid players with character or medical red flags as it was rookie head coach Ben McAdoo’s first year. If there is truth to that, then the infamous “Gas Mask” video likely contributed to the Giants passing on him.

But while it has taken some time, Tunsil seems to have realized the ability that had him in consideration as a potential first overall selection. It’s true that the Dolphins’ offensive line was even worse in pass protection last year than the Giants, giving up 52 sacks and an Adjusted Sack Rate of 10.5 percent (31st in the NFL, per Football Outsiders), Tunsil improved markedly over 2017. For reference, the Giants were ranked 20th, giving up 47 sacks and a 7.4 percent adjusted sack rate.

Tunsil, however, was something of a bright spot on that line in his second season at left tackle. He gave up one sack and committing seven penalties in 2018, down from six and twelve, respectively.

The Dolphins reportedly have a strong interest in acquiring Houston Texans EDGE Jadeveon Clowney, and Tunsil becoming available could be related to that interest.

If the Dolphins are angling to get Clowney, the Giants might have to offer up a significant trade package to compete. But if Tunsil is on his way to being a franchise Tackle, it might be worth it.

If the rumors that Tunsil is on the trading block aren’t related to their reported interest in Clowney, that then begs the question of why a 25-year-old player with “franchise” potential at one of the cornerstone positions is being dangled as trade bait.

At this point there haven’t been any rumors of bad behavior that I could find, save a recent statement that he needs to work on speaking up and being the leader of the offensive line.

Another option is that it could be head coach Brian Flores attempt to emulate the New England Patriots — he was the Patriots’ linebackers coach before being hired by Miami — habit of selling high on players who will soon be expensive. If the team could potentially get a first or second round pick to use while they rebuild, it might be better than potentially paying Tunsil $15 million a year on his second contract or letting him leave for a compensatory pick.

So then, should the Giants talk trade with the Dolphins for Tunsil?