Lions lined up to make no-brainer decision on Penei Sewell, if they make it at all

Heading toward a big decision on Penei Sewell, the Detroit Lions will either do it or they could bypass it all-together.
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The Detroit Lions have an easy financial decision on Penei Sewell coming soon, or they could just bypass it completely.

Through his first two seasons, Penei Sewell has cemented himself as a building block for the Detroit Lions. His first Pro Bowl selection came last year, and's Bucky Brooks recently labeled him the "gold standard" at right tackle.

Heading into his third season of course, the Lions will have a big decision on Sewell coming next spring. It's also an obvious decision, as The Athletic's Diante Lee (subscription required) recently laid out while also talking about Chargers offensive tackle Rashawn Slater in the same vein in regard to fifth-year option decisions on 2021 first-round picks.

"Both rank in the top 10 of pressure rate allowed, and they anchor passing offenses that are top 10 in EPA and success rate when they’re on the field,” “Premium position talent always tips the scale a bit, but Sewell and Slater being ahead of schedule will make these decisions even easier for the Lions and Chargers, respectively."

This year, the fifth-year option for a first-round offensive lineman in the 2020 draft class with one Pro Bowl on their resume (as Sewell does now) is worth $16.67 million. Two Pro Bowls bumped it to $18.24 million. Those numbers are sure to climb for the 2021 draft class.

Lions could just effectively bypass fifth-year option decision and give Penei Sewell a massive contract

The Lions picking up Sewell's fifth-year option for 2025 would be a clear placeholder for a deal to keep him in Detroit for a long time. It's a no-brainer, on its own, to pick up the option.

The contract the Houston Texans gave left tackle Laremy Tunsil changed the contract game for those who will come after him among the best at the position--left or right tackles really. Among right tackles, Sewell is in line to reset the top of the market, currently at $20 million per year, when he gets his deal.

The Lions could, as a practical matter, just disregard Sewell's fifth-year option and get him signed to a multi-year deal by next May. The total money and guaranteed money in the deal will be notable when it happens, in some concert with length (say 3-5 years), and Sewell will be well-compensated beyond his fifth-year option as the Lions obviously make him a priority.

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