Justin Rogers | The Detroit News
Fewer than 15 minutes after free agents were permitted to talk to other teams, the Detroit Lions reached an agreement to retain one of their top players on Monday, coming to terms on a three-year deal with edge rusher Romeo Okwara, according to an NFL Network report.
The deal is reportedly worth up to $39 million.
Claimed off waivers from the New York Giants just days before the start of the 2018 season, Okwara rapidly developed into an integral piece along Detroit’s defensive front. Inactive the first week of that season, he went on to appear in the final 15 games, playing more than 70% of the team’s defensive snaps and leading the Lions with 7.5 sacks.
His playing time and production dipped significantly in his second season with the Lions. While he continued to pressure quarterbacks at a similar rate, he mustered only 1.5 sacks in 2019.
But everything seemed to come together for Okwara, 25, last season. The 6-foot-4, 263-pounder was one of the few bright spots on Detroit’s defense, once again leading the team in sacks with 10.5.
The underlying numbers were equally, if not more impressive. After averaging 37 quarterback pressures the previous two seasons, Okwara ranked ninth in the NFL last season, disrupting the pocket 61 times last season, according to Pro Football Focus.