Efe Obada
refer to caption
Obada with the Carolina Panthers in 2019
Washington Commanders
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1992-04-13) April 13, 1992 (age 30)
Nigeria
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
Undrafted:2015
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2021
Tackles:62
Sacks:11.0
Pass deflections:4
Interceptions:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Efe Obada (born 13 April 1992) is a Nigerian gridiron football defensive end for the Washington Commanders of the National Football League (NFL). Born in Nigeria and raised in the Netherlands and United Kingdom, he was the first international player to go straight from a European league to the NFL.

Early years

Born in Nigeria, Obada and his family later moved to the Netherlands. At the age of 10, he and his sister were trafficked into England and were left homeless as soon as they arrived in London.[1][2] They initially slept in an office block before living in 10 different foster homes.[1] He eventually began work as a security guard at Grace Foods in Welwyn Garden City.[3][4] In 2014, Obada began playing for the London Warriors of the British American Football Association National Leagues.[5] He appeared in five games playing at tight end and defensive end.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Based on a recommendation from Warriors defensive coordinator Aden Durde, who previously served as an intern coach with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014, Obada was given the opportunity to work out for the team days before their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. Although he was raw and didn't have much experience, he was signed as an undrafted free agent on 1 April 2015.

In rookie mini-camp he was tried on the first days at tight end, before the team decided to move him to defensive end, where the learning curve would not be as steep. He was waived on 5 September.[6] On 23 September, he was signed to the Cowboys' practice squad.[7] On 7 October he was released to make room for linebacker Keith Smith.[8] On 2 December he was re-signed to the practice squad.[9] He was waived on 2 March 2016.[10]

Kansas City Chiefs

Obada was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs on 9 March 2016.[11] He was released by the team on 7 June.[12]

Atlanta Falcons

On 28 July 2016, he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons.[13] He was waived on 27 August.[14]

Carolina Panthers

On 25 May 2017, Obada was signed by the Carolina Panthers,[15] through the new NFL's International Player Pathway program, that guaranteed him a position on the team, after it granted an 11th practice squad slot to all four NFC South clubs (the division was selected in a random draw),[16] so they could sign an international player. As part of the program conditions, he was ineligible to be promoted to the 53-man roster during the regular season. He was waived by the Panthers on 1 September 2017, and was re-signed to the practice squad.[17][18] He signed a reserve/future contract with the Panthers on 8 January 2018.[19]

After a strong preseason, Obada became the first player from the NFL International Player Pathway program to make a 53-man roster. In Week 3, against the Cincinnati Bengals, Obada played his first regular season game, where he had one sack and one interception. He was later awarded the game ball, and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[20] He finished the season with eight combined tackles and two sacks.

On 23 January 2019, Obada signed a one-year contract extension with the Panthers.[21] On 13 October 2019, Obada was made an honorary captain for the Panthers' NFL London Game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as part of a very emotional day for him.[22]

On 6 January 2020, Obada signed a one-year contract extension with the Panthers.[23] He was waived on 6 September 2020,[24] but re-signed with the team the next day.[25]

In Week 3 of the 2020 season against the Los Angeles Chargers, Obada recovered a fumble lost by wide receiver Keenan Allen on the last play of the game to secure a 21–16 win for the Panthers.[26]

Buffalo Bills

On 19 April 2021, Obada signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.[27][28]

Washington Commanders

Obada signed with the Washington Commanders on March 23, 2022.[29]

Career statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack Int Yards Avg Lng TD PD FF FR Yards TD
2018 CAR 10 0 8 6 2 2.0 1 0 0.0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
2019 CAR 16 0 24 14 10 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2020 CAR 16 1 18 10 8 5.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 2 54 0
Career 42 1 50 30 20 7.5 1 0 0.0 0 0 3 1 2 54 0

2021 Season Buffalo Bills

References

  1. ^ a b "Efe Obada: The NFL star abandoned on London's streets at age of 10". April 4, 2019. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  2. ^ "NFL: Efe Obada makes dream start to NFL career with Carolina Panthers". BBC Sport. September 24, 2018. Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "Cowboys sign British warehouse worker to play defensive end · The42". the42.ie. Archived from the original on April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "From homelessness in London to the Dallas Cowboys: Efe Obada's remarkable journey | Sport | The Guardian". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Coles, Ben (September 8, 2018). "The astonishing journey of Efe Obada - the refugee abandoned in London as a child now playing in the NFL". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Helman, David (September 5, 2015). "Vaughan, Showers Among Notable Cuts As Cowboys Meet 53-Man Roster Limit". DallasCowboys.com. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  7. ^ Helman, David (September 23, 2015). "Cowboys Promote Kellen Moore To Active Roster, Sign Efe Obada To Practice Squad". DallasCowboys.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Brandon George [@@DMN_George] (October 7, 2015). "Yes, the Cowboys released Efe Obada from their practice squad Wednesday and signed LB Keith Smith" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "Cowboys Promote Kellen Moore To Active Roster, Sign Efe Obada To Practice Squad". DallasCowboys.com. Archived from the original on November 13, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  10. ^ "Dallas Cowboys waive DE Efe Obada, WR Donte Foster". 24/7 Sports. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "London's Efe Obada signed by the Kansas City Chiefs". NFLUK.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "EFE OBADA". foxsports.com. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  13. ^ "Falcons Sign DE Obada, Waived WR Johnson". atlantafalcons.com. July 28, 2016. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Atlanta Falcons cut Sean Renfree, their No. 2 quarterback last season". AtlantaFalcons.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "NFL UK- NFL.com". www.nfl.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  16. ^ "Home - NFL Players Community". players.nfl.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  17. ^ Strickland, Bryan (September 1, 2017). "Panthers reduce roster to 77". Panthers.com. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017.
  18. ^ Voth, Bill (September 3, 2017). "Panthers sign 10 players to practice squad". Panthers.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018.
  19. ^ Strickland, Bryan (January 8, 2018). "Notes: Jonathan Stewart among vets vested in returning". Panthers.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  20. ^ Bergman, Jeremy (September 26, 2018). "Big Ben, Drew Brees among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Strickland, Bryan (January 23, 2019). "Efe Obada signs one-year contract". Panthers.com. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  22. ^ Associated Press (October 13, 2019). "McCaffrey scores 2 TDs to lead Panthers past Bucs 37-26". WCNC.com. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  23. ^ Henson, Max (January 6, 2020). "Efe Obada signs one-year contract extension". Panthers.com. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  24. ^ Simmons, Myles (September 6, 2020). "Panthers claim three players off waivers". Panthers.com. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  25. ^ Simmons, Myles (September 7, 2020). "Panthers re-sign Efe Obada, place Eli Apple on reserve/injured". Panthers.com. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  26. ^ "Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers - September 27th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "Bills agree to terms with Efe Obada". BuffaloBills.com. March 24, 2021.
  28. ^ "2021 NFL Transactions: Signings – April". NFL.com. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  29. ^ Washington Commanders Public Relations (March 23, 2022). "Commanders sign DE Efe Obada". Commanders.com. Retrieved March 23, 2022.