The Detroit Lions helped to secure some of their pass rush in 2019 by locking up restricted free agent Romeo Okwara to a new contract.
Pass rush figured to be a point of emphasis for the Detroit Lions this offseason despite racking up 43.0 sacks in 2018, which was tied for 11th sacks most in the NFL. At the center of most of these questions in Motown surrounds the future of pending free agent defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.
But Ansah only played in seven games last season due to a shoulder injury. And the soon-to-be 30-year old pass rusher only recorded 4.0 sacks, despite his massive $17.1 million price tag.
In fact, it was defensive end Romeo Okwara who led the Lions with 7.5 sacks in 2018. Detroit claimed the 23-year old off waivers last season from the New York Giants. The undrafted pass rusher from Notre Dame spent his first two seasons in the Big Apple. During that time, Okwara only managed to record a single sack as a professional.
In Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme, Okwara’s potential has been unlocked. And due to the fact he was set to be a restricted free agent this month, the Lions opted to take a proactive approach to secure his presence for the foreseeable future. It was announced on Friday night that Detroit has signed Okwara to a new two-year deal, locking him up until just beyond 2020.
The move ensures Romeo Okwara’s presence along a defensive line in the Motor City that consists of a combination of both veteran and young talent. Outside of the unknown future for Ziggy Ansah, the Lions have defensive linemen like Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand to build the foundation of Patricia’s revamped defense with. The future looks bright for the Detroit Lions in the trenches.