How Laremy Tunsil Lost $8 Million Thanks To A Video That Surfaced The Night Of The NFL Draft

Laremy Tunsil and Roger Goodell at the 2016 NFL Draft

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It would be a bit hyperbolic to suggest the NFL Draft is a “make or break” event for the teams involved, but the stakes can still be incredibly high thanks to the sheer amount of talent that’s typically up for grabs.

NFL franchises usually aren’t taking any chances when they decide to scoop up a player in the first couple of rounds, and their front offices devote a ton of time and effort to doing their due diligence when determining the order of the names compiled on their draft board.

Those teams have no shortage of intel to work with thanks to the ample amount of tape at their disposal in addition to the information gleaned from meetings and evaluations at (and after) the NFL Combine.

A player’s physical abilities tend to be the major focus for fairly obvious reasons, but the mental aspect also plays a sizeable role—especially when it comes to the prospects who’ve supposedly exhibited some of the dreaded “red flags” that can actually make or break their future.

There are plenty of NFL teams who’ve decided to overlook those potential issues and paid the price in the long run, whether we’re talking about the Browns and Johnny Manziel, the Lions and Charles Rogers, and (of course) the Raiders and JaMarcus Russell.

However, there are also plenty of players who’ve seen their stock slide thanks to some off-the-field issues—including one who may have paid a bigger price than anyone else in NFL history.

How a video of Laremy Tunsil smoking weed out of a gas mask bong cost him millions at the 2016 NFL Draft

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Laremy Tunsil made quite the name for himself during his time playing tackle at Ole Miss, and while he dealt with a number of injuries in college, he was still one of the top defensive prospects in the country ahead of the NFL Draft in 2016.

Those physical setbacks weren’t the only potential red flags on Tunsil’s résumé.

He’d been suspended for the first seven games of his junior season following an investigation into impermissible benefits, which stemmed from an argument with his stepfather that led to him being arrested on charges of domestic violence (although Tunsil asserted he’d been defending his mother when the altercation unfolded).

However, Tunsil was widely expected to be one of the first names called after Jared Goff and Carson Wentz (respectively the presumptive top and second overall picks) were taken off of the board.

There was nothing to indicate that had changed in the hours leading up to the event that was held at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago on the night of April 28. However, that all changed when disaster struck shortly before Roger Goodell was slated to walk out onto the stage.

The disaster in question involved a video that showed Tunsil smoking weed out of a bong attached to a gas mask that was uploaded to his own Twitter account just 10 minutes before the draft was scheduled to commence.

His agent scrambled to clarify he’d been the victim of a hack that was seemingly orchestrated by the same person who uploaded screenshots of the tackle asking an Ole Miss staffer for money to pay his rent and utilities on his personal Instagram account.

That stunning development caused a number of teams who’d been keeping a close eye on Tunsil to turn their attention elsewhere. He slid out of the top five after the Chargers selected Joey Bosa with the third pick and the Jaguars secured Jalen Ramsey with the fifth, and when everything was said and done, he fell to the Dolphins with the 13th overall selection.

Based on the contracts Bosa and Ramsey received, Tunsil would’ve likely signed a rookie deal worth between $23 and $25 million if he hadn’t fallen victim to the leaks. He did get one worth around $12.5 million from Miami, but still took a hit worth upwards of $8 million when you take the combined salary and signing bonus into account.

Things ultimately worked out pretty well in the end, as Tunsil has racked up more than $70 million over the course of his seven NFL seasons. However, his draft night snafu probably still stings a little bit.

Connor Toole avatar and headshot for BroBible
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.