Lions Defender Is ‘Stepping Away’ From The NFL

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Written By Maya Cantina

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After going 12-5 and reaching the NFC Championship Game last season, the Detroit Lions appear to be poised to run it back with largely the same roster next season.

However, one of their rotation players on defense won’t be back when training camp starts this summer.

Per Around the NFL, defensive end Romeo Okwara is stepping away from the NFL.

Okwara went undrafted in 2016 after four seasons at the University of Notre Dame, and as a senior there, he had 9.0 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.

He signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent, and he signed with the Lions just prior to the start of the 2018 season.

That is where he started to blossom — he posted 7.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits, and eight tackles for loss in his first year in Detroit.

Two years later, he had his best pro season with 10.0 sacks, 18 QB hits, 11 tackles for loss and one safety.

Today, the star of the Lions’ defensive line is Aidan Hutchinson, who made his first Pro Bowl in his second season in 2023, and they have also taken a flier on Marcus Davenport, a defensive end who had 9.0 sacks in 2021 but appeared in just four games in 2023 because of an ankle injury.

While Detroit ranked very high in several offensive categories last season, defense is an area they need to improve in, especially when it comes to defending the pass.

They will also have some added competition in the NFC North next season, as the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are both poised to improve significantly.

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