FEBRUARY 15: Okwara will earn up to $2.68MM on his one-year Eagles pact, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes. While Philadelphia has a number of key decisions to make amongst the edge group in the near future, Okwara can be expected to remain with the team through at least training camp and the preseason.
FEBRUARY 14: The Eagles have made a depth addition to their edge rush group. The team announced on Wednesday that Julian Okwara has been signed to a reserve/futures contract.
Okwara had previously spent his four-year career with the Lions, starting a total of four games across the past three seasons. His time in Detroit allowed him to pair with his brother Romeo Okwara, but he saw a limited role in 2023. Julian was waived last month to make room for James Houston‘s IR activation. He found himself on Detroit’s practice squad when the team’s postseason run came to an end, but he did not receive a futures deal.
As a result, Okwara was free to sign with any team, and he has joined the Eagles. Philadelphia’s edge rush situation is in a state of flux at the moment, in large part due to team’s decision to allow Haason Reddick to seek out a trade. The two-time Pro Bowler has made it clear he wants to extend his through-2024 Eagles contract, but it will be interesting to see if team and player can reach an agreement on that front.
Defensive end Brandon Graham, meanwhile, is set to reach free agency. The franchise’s games played leader – and a member of Philadelphia’s ‘Core Four’ – intends to play at least one more season. While he would likely only sign a deal with the Eagles if one can be worked out this spring, the team currently faces a number of question marks along the edge. Okwara will aim to carve out a depth role amongst the likes of Josh Sweat and 2023 first-rounder Nolan Smith.
Okwara posted a career-high five sacks in 2021 while logging a 40% snap share. That pointed to notable potential as a situational edge rusher, but the 26-year-old has totaled only four sacks over the past two seasons. His playing time has dropped considerably in both years, and he made just nine appearances during the 2023 campaign. Over the course of the offseason, Okwara will attempt to land a 53-man roster spot on an Eagles team seeking clarity in the pass-rush department.