Detroit Lions better be ready to give Penei Sewell a massive contract

SideLion Report

After Laremy Tunsil got paid big, the Detroit Lions surely know their day to pay Penei Sewell similarly is coming.

Penei Sewell has been all the Detroit Lions hoped he’d be since be taken seventh overall in the 2021 draft. In summary, he has become one of the best young offensive tackles around and he’s headed for a long, distinguished career in the NFL at just 22 years old.

As long as he remains on the same track, the Lions will gladly pony up to keep Sewell around for years beyond the full extent of his rookie contract–four years plus the fifth-year option that can be picked up a year from now. There will be no franchise tag dancing, or hesitation to give him an extension befitting his status among his peers. And anymore, being a right tackle (for as long as Taylor Decker is around to man the left side, anyway) will not make a marked difference in his pay day.

On Sunday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Houston Texans and left tackle Laremy Tunsil have agreed to a three-year, $75 million deal with $50 million fully guaranteed, $60 million in total guarantees and a $30 million signing bonus.

Detroit Lions know their day to pay Penei Sewell is coming

In response to the Tunsil contract news, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News gave a nod to Sewell’s home country and the pay day he’s headed for.

Sewell is eligible for a contract extension after the third year of his rookie contract, so after next season. Picking up that fifth-year option by early next May could serve as a de facto placeholder for a longer-term deal, which should be a no-brainer to get done.

The just-minted highest-paid right tackle in the NFL ($20 million per year average) is Jawaan Taylor, who signed a four-year, $80 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs last week. After him, here is a further sampling of the current highest-paid right tackles in 2023 based on per-year average (via Spotrac).

2-Ryan Ramczyk: $19.5 million
3-Brian O’Nell: $18.5 million
4-Lane Johnson: $18 million
5-Taylor Moton: $17,811,500
T6-Braden Smith: $17.5 million
T6-Mike McGlinchey: $17.5 million
8-Jack Conklin: $15 million
9-Rob Havenstein: $11.5 million

Sewell could very well reset the top of the right tackle market in his new deal, to $21 million per year or something. He is in line to become one of the highest-paid tackles in the league, regardless of position.

The Lions know the day to pay Sewell big-time is coming. The Tunsil news on Sunday was only a fresh reminder of the premium placed on top-end offensive tackles.

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