Carolina Panthers defensive end Efe Obada will get a chance to play in front of his home crowd in 2019 — the crowd other than the fans at Bank of America Stadium, that is.
The Panthers announced a one-year extension for Obada, who was an exclusive rights free agent who would’ve hit free agency in March had the Panthers not tendered a contract.
Obada, 26, was born in Nigeria but became a victim of human trafficking as a child. He grew up in London, where the Panthers will play a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Obada is a member of the NFL’s International Pathways program, and in 2018 became the first in the program to be active for an NFL game in Week 3 against Cincinnati. He had the game of his life, too — Obada had an interception and a sack in his first-ever NFL start.
He was active for 10 games in 2018, recording eight tackles, two sacks, six quarterback pressures, an interception and two pass deflections.
Coaches raved last season about Obada’s improvement, while also recognizing his rawness in the game of football — he has only played American football since 2015.
“Hey guys, it’s Efe,” said Obada in a video released by the Panthers’ social media team. “I’m happy to be back in Carolina. Keep pounding!”