Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara retires after eight seasons

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DETROIT — Romeo Okwara delivered some breaking news of his own on Tuesday night.

The veteran Detroit Lions defensive back used his Instagram account to announce that he is retiring from the NFL after eight seasons.

“After some introspection and reflection, I have decided to step away from the NFL,” Okwara wrote on the social media platform.

He said, “The game of football has been the biggest part of my life for the last 18 years, 8 of which I have had the privilege of playing at the professional level.” “Four of them are with my brother. The experiences, friendships and camaraderie I have been fortunate to share with my teammates, coaches and teammates is something I will always be grateful for. You all mean a lot to me. And I will continue to cheer you on for the rest of our lives!”

Okwara, 28, appeared in 16 games for the Lions last season, recording nine tackles, five QB hits and a pair of sacks as a reliable part of the rotation. He was ready to become a free agent.

In 2016, he entered the league as an undrafted rookie free agent after being signed by the New York Giants, where he spent his first two seasons before being claimed off waivers by the Lions in 2018.

He led the Lions with 7.5 in 2018, the most in a player’s first season after being claimed off waivers in team history. He started in 32 games of his 92-game career, where he finished with 158 total tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, and 58 quarterback hits.

His 23.0 career sacks also rank as the fourth-most by any Nigerian-born NFL player.

“My heart is always with you and the city of Detroit,” he said.

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