Lions sign Penei Sewell to deal making him highest-paid offensive lineman

After extending Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions also paid Penei Sewell big on Wednesday.
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On the day before the NFL Draft starts in Detroit, the host team is making news. After agreeing to terms on a deal that will reportedly make wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, the Lions have ponied up to keep right tackle Penei Sewell in the fold long-term.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Lions have signed Sewell to a four-year, $112 million contract extension with $85 million guaranteed. According to Garafolo, the deal will make Sewell the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league.

The previously highest-paid offensive lineman Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil, at $25 million per year (a three-year, $75 million deal). If the initial contract details hold up as accurate, Sewell’s deal is $28 million per year.

Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports has added some details of Sewell's deal.

The Lions had until May 2 to pick up Sewell's fifth-year option for 2025. This new deal covers that, and gives him a raise over a projected $19.04 million on that fifth-year option for 2025.

Update, 4:00 p.m. ET: According to Albert Breer of MMQB, the Lions picked up Sewell's fifth-year option. So his extension runs through 2029.

Sewell was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded offensive lineman last season (92.8 overall), with a 95.1 run blocking grade. He allowed just one sack and a total of 25 pressures over the entire season (regular season and playoffs). He went to his second straight Pro Bowl and earned First Team All-Pro honors.

Lions lock down another foundational player with Penei Sewell

Sewell, seventh overall in the 2021 draft, was the first draft pick Brad Holmes made as the Lions' general manager. He has immediately become the best right tackle in the league, and he has occasionally filled in for Taylor Decker at left tackle. He also won't turn 24 until October.

Sewell has been the ideal combination of excellent and reliable. He has missed on game in his career, and that was due to COVID-19 in Week 18 of his rookie season. Over the last two seasons, he has not missed a snap.

The Lions say and continue to prove how much they value their own over making splashy offseason moves. Paying Sewell in line with his talent level as his rookie contract wound down was a no-brainer, and now it's done.