Carolina Panthers

Panthers’ Efe Obada will get a chance to play in front of his hometown crowd

Charlotte police officer is a huge Efe Obada fan

Officer Szynarowski meets Panthers defensive end Efe Obada at a Harris Teeter meet and greet.
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Officer Szynarowski meets Panthers defensive end Efe Obada at a Harris Teeter meet and greet.

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.

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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!”

Carolina Panthers defensive End Efe Obada celebrates after the game and answers questions from the media on his breakout performance. Obada recorded an interception and a sack in his first game in the NFL.

Jourdan has covered the Carolina Panthers as a beat writer since 2016, and froze during Pennsylvania winters as an award-winning Penn State football beat writer before that. A 2014 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, she’s on a never-ending quest for trick plays and the stories that give football fans goosebumps.

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