One of the most under the radar free agents of the 2021 class Romeo Okwara has signed a new contract with the Detroit Lions. Okwara was one of the lesser-known names of the 2020 EDGE defender class but finished last season with the 10th-most sacks in the NFL to go along with being tied for 22nd in QB pressures and tied for 23rd in QB hits. He will turn 26 years old this coming June.
The #Lions and pass-rusher Romeo Okwara are staying together, as Okwara has agreed to a 3-year deal worth $39M, source said. After a career year with 10 sacks, Okwara wants to make Detroit his home.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2021
Romeo Okwara Signs
Okwara was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants following the 2016 NFL Draft. He made the 53-man roster out of camp and played in each game during the 2016 season. Okwara saw 32 or fewer snaps over his first 12 games but after an injury to Jason Pierre-Paul sidelined the long-time Giants pass rusher for the remainder of the season, the rookie Okwara began to see increased snaps. His first NFL start came Week 14 of 2016 in a 10-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys. In his first start, Okwara registered his first career sack and a season-high in tackles with a combined eight. He would go on to start New York’s remaining three games.
2017 was the roughest of Okwara’s career. Over his first five games in 2017, Okwara would play 18 or fewer defensive snaps. He was then sidelined for the following 10 games due to a knee sprain. Okwara would play in the Giants Week 17 game against the Washington Football Team but would play a career-low seven total snaps. The Giants waived Okwara the following September.
Okwara was picked up by the Detroit Lions in 2018 five days prior to their season opener against the New York Jets. The defensive end would not play in the Lions first game of the year but would go on to play 31 or more snaps in their remaining 15 contests — starting 14 total games. He finished 2018 leading the Lions in each sacks (7.5) and quarterback hits (14). Since signing with the Lions in 2018, Okwara is currently tied for 43rd in QB hits (42) and tied for 38th in sacks (19.0) in the NFL.
Embed from Getty Images