Detroit Lions waive Anthony Zettel; Add Romeo Okwara


The Detroit Lions continue to shake up their roster, this time releasing one of their top pass rushers in Anthony Zettel in a somewhat surprising move.

The source of the Detroit Lions pass rush in 2018 has been a major of discussion this offseason. But one possible solution is no longer on the roster. And that’s Anthony Zettel.

The former sixth rounder out of Penn State actually racked up 6.5 sacks for the Pride last season. Yet, there were rumors he was on the roster bubble last week. And the fact he played a good number in snaps in the team’s final preseason all but confirmed it.

On Wednesday, the Lions waived the third-year defensive end. And in his place, Detroit added former New York Giants defensive end Romeo Okwara. An undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame in 2016, Okwara started four games for New York his rookie season recording 25 tackles, a sack, and two pass defends. But last year, Okwara played just six games due to a sprained MCL injury.

Clearly, the Lions feel Okwara is a better fit in new head coach Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme than Zettel. But it’s surprising that Detroit would give up on a 26-year old pass rusher who posted 6.5 sacks last season. Zettel will likely find a new home quickly due to his previous production and the fact he is still playing under a very team-friendly rookie contract.

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As for the Detroit Lions, they’ll head into their first matchup of the regular season against the New York Jets Monday night without one of their top pass rushing defensive lineman. The trio of Ziggy Ansah, Kerry Hyder Jr. and Anthony Zettel was expected to represent the bulk of the pass rush in Detroit. But this latest move reveals it’s actually Matt Patricia’s scheme that will now be responsible for getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.