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Indianapolis -- The Detroit Lions have locked up the team's most important free agent, agreeing to a two-year extension with defensive end Romeo Okwara.

Okwara, claimed off waivers from the New York Giants prior to the start of last season, quickly emerged as one of Detroit's top edge defenders, playing significant snaps in place of the oft-injured Ziggy Ansah. 

After sitting the season opener, Okwara went on to lead the Lions with a career-high 7.5 sacks. He appeared in the final 15 games, starting 14, while playing more than 72 percent of the team's defensive snaps. 

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but the NFL Network is reporting it will average more than the second-round tender, a one-year contract the Lions were likely to place on Okwara, a restricted free agent, had an earlier agreement not been reached. 

The second-round tender was set at $3.1 million on Friday. 

The re-signing doesn't reduce Detroit's need to add another edge rusher this offseason. Okwara's 39 pressures paced the team, but he still tied for 38th among edge defenders, according to Pro Football Focus. 

The Lions hold the No. 8 pick in the draft and could consider an edge-rushing option at that spot, with Michigan's Rashan Gary, Mississippi State's Montez Sweat and Clemson's Clelin Ferrell among the possibilities. The team could also consider addressing the need in free agency, with Trey Flowers perceived to be a likely target. 

 

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