Report: Romeo Okwara, Lions Agree to $39M Contract as Kenny Golladay Hits FA

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Detroit Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara (95) in action against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

Defensive end Romeo Okwara re-signed with the Detroit Lions on Monday on a three-year, $39 million contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The 25-year-old had an excellent season for the Lions in 2020, registering 44 tackles (11 for loss), 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery across 16 appearances (nine starts).

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Because Okwara isn't the biggest player, he's generally been used as a pass-rush specialist. The Lions typically didn't utilize him as much on earlier downs, ostensibly worried he might be a liability against the run.

However, he developed nicely in his time in Detroit after posting a single sack across his first two seasons with the New York Giants (2016-17). He was better in 2018 with the Lions, notching 7.5 sacks, though he showed his inconsistency in 2019 with just 1.5 sacks in 14 games.

Okwara took his offseason training seriously ahead of the 2020 season, and the results showed up both on the field and now in his checking account.

Per Michael Rothstein of ESPN, the Notre Dame product said in December:

"That's kind of why you train in the offseason the way we do is the hopes that obviously what you do in the offseason will kind of carry over and help get your body sustained for the season. Hopefully see some success out of that. So yeah, there's definitely points where I'll be looking back into training, and it's kind of I guess what you can hang your hat on in getting you through the season."

The Lions will be hoping Okwara's training this offseason leads to another big campaign in 2021.