Detroit Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara calls it quits after a successful eight-year career.

In a personal revelation shared via his Instagram account on Tuesday evening, Romeo Okwara, the seasoned Detroit Lions defensive end, disclosed his decision to retire from the NFL after an illustrious eight-year tenure.

“After reflecting and contemplating, I have opted to step away from professional football,” Okwara conveyed on the social media platform.

He further expressed, “Football has been a predominant aspect of my life for over 18 years, including 8 at the professional level. Four of those years were shared with my brother. The bonds, experiences, and camaraderie I’ve had with my teammates, coaches, and peers are treasures I’ll forever cherish. You all hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll be your biggest supporter for the rest of our lives!”

At the age of 28, Okwara participated in 16 games for the Lions during the recent season, contributing nine tackles, five quarterback hits, and a duo of sacks, demonstrating his reliability within the team’s rotation. He was poised to enter free agency.

Initially entering the league in 2016 as an undrafted rookie free agent with the New York Giants, Okwara spent his first two seasons there before transitioning to the Lions via waivers in 2018.

His impact was immediate, leading the Lions in sacks during his inaugural season with 7.5, marking a franchise record for the most sacks by a player in their first season after being claimed off waivers. Over the course of his 92-game career, Okwara started in 32 games, accumulating 158 total tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, and 58 quarterback hits.

His 23.0 career sacks also stand as the fourth-highest total among NFL players born in Nigeria.

In his closing sentiments, he affirmed, “My allegiance will always lie with you and the city of Detroit.”

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