Detroit Lions: Romeo Okwara contract details officially released

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions signed Romeo Okwara to a new contract, and the details are now available. For those interested in the straight, pure numbers of the reported 3-year, $39 million offer sheet the defensive end signed, you can wander over to the usual sports contract sites, OverTheCap or Spotrac.

Or you can choose to read further and get the details here.

Year one of the contract entails, as expected, a $1-million base salary that is fully guaranteed, along with his $14-million signing bonus. For cap purposes, there is a fourth “void” year on the contract, bringing his pro-rated bonus number down to $3.5 million per year.  His total cap hit for the 2021 season is a nice, low $4.5 million.

His contract also includes a base salary in 2022 of $11 million, $5 million of which is guaranteed.  Including his pro-rated bonus, the cap hit is going to come in at $14.5 million. The numbers in 2023, the third and final year of the deal, are the exact same as 2022’s numbers, just with no guarantees.

After all the Detroit Lions opted to reunite Romeo Okwara with his brother on his three-year extension.

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Playing out the contract will leave a dead cap hit in 2024 of $3.5 million in the void year of the deal.

For those interested in the Lions’ ability to escape from the contract, here is a quick breakdown.

If cut before the 2021 season, while highly unlikely,  the Lions would still owe Okwara his $6 million in guaranteed salaries and are still liable for his signing bonus.

Making for a dead cap hit of $20 million. In 2022, it is still not a pretty picture if Detroit were to choose to move on.

The Lions would owe an additional $1 million to the cap bringing his dead money to $15.5 million.  2023 presents the team’s only potential “out” on the contract.

While he would still account for $7 million in dead money, Detroit would, in fact, save $7.5 million in cap space.

The contract’s $13 million per year average comes in slightly lower than the deals signed by other pass rushers in his production range. Trey Hendrickson (four years) and Carl Lawson (three years) both netted $15 million per year on their deals with the Bengals and Jets respectively.

Okwara was willing to work with the Lions front office in order or continue playing with his brother Julian, something they had never done before last year. Something he has been extremely vocal about, meaning a lot to him since word broke of his new deal with Detroit.

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Romeo’s extension of three years aligns perfectly with the remaining three years of Julian’s rookie contract.