Obada in 2018
|No. 94 – Carolina Panthers|
|Born:||April 13, 1992|
|Height:||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Weight:||265 lb (120 kg)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
Efe Obada (born April 13, 1992) is a Nigerian-born, American football defensive end for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He did not play college football as he was born in Nigeria and grew up in the United Kingdom, where he became the first international player to go straight from an American football European league to the NFL.
At the age of 10, Obada and his sister were trafficked from the Netherlands (where they moved from Nigeria at the age of 8) into England and left homeless as soon as they arrived in London. They initially slept rough, then in an office block, then with a family friend, before living in 10 different foster homes. He eventually worked as a security guard at Grace Foods in Welwyn Garden City.
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 April 1, 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 September 5. On September 23, he was signed to the Cowboys' practice squad. On October 7, he was released to make room for linebacker Keith Smith. On December 2, he was re-signed to the practice squad. He was waived on March 2, 2016.
Kansas City Chiefs
On May 25, 2017, Obada was signed by the Carolina Panthers, 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), 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 September 1, 2017, and was re-signed to the practice squad. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Panthers on January 8, 2018.
After a strong preseason, Obada became the first player from the NFL International 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. He finished the season with eight combined tackles and two sacks.
On January 23, 2019, Obada signed a one-year contract extension with the Panthers. On October 13, 2019, Obada was made an honorary captain for the Panther's NFL London Game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as part of an emotional day for him. On January 6, 2020, Obada signed a one-year contract extension with the panthers.
Obada is close to his sister and his wife, and has refused to divulge any information about them.
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