The NFL Draft is a special time for every football player. They're getting to live out their dreams of playing professionally in the greatest league in the world. It should be a moment of celebration and joy, knowing your life is about to change for the better.
For Laremy Tunsil, the NFL Draft turned into a media circus.
Hours before Tunsil was selected, a video leaked of him wearing a gas mask and using a bong. That didn't sit well with NFL executives, and Tunsil ended up falling in the draft. He was projected to be the No. 3 overall selection but instead slid all the way to the Miami Dolphins at the 13th pick.
The difference between the two picks turned out to be about $12 million over four years. Tunsil tweeted that he's finally ready to put the moment behind him, and he's doing so in a way that's very on-brand for 2022.
He's creating an NFT of his "infamous gas mask video" to auction off. The 1-of-1 NFT will help benefit the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit "dedicated to repairing the harms of the criminalization of cannabis through intervention, advocacy, and awareness."
At the time of writing, the high bid was 1.57 ETH, or about $4,865. It's a far cry from the $12 million he missed out on, but it's cool to see Tunsil is able to turn the page on the incident and do something positive.
"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," Tunsil wrote. "I'm officially moving on and putting this moment in the past."
Tunsil has made two Pro Bowls in his career. He played three seasons for the Dolphins before the team traded him to the Houston Texans for two first-round picks. Prior to last season, Tunsil, 27, signed a three-year, $66 million contract extension with the Texans.
He may always have the words "gas mask" associated with him, but Tunsil has made up for his Draft Day snafu with plenty of memorable moments on the field, too. And he's raising funds for a good cause, keeping in the NFL Draft spirit of generating excitement and positivity.