International star Efe Obada re-signs with Panthers

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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It's thus far been a long, winding and remarkable road for Efe Obada.

For at least one more season, Obada's astounding story will be penned in Carolina as the international talent signed a one-year contract through the 2019 season with the Panthers, the team announced on Wednesday.

"I'm very grateful," the 6-foot-6 linebacker said, via the team website. "It's another opportunity to contribute to the team and obviously support myself and my family."

Obada, who was born in Nigeria but has lived most of his life in London, made history in August of 2018 when he became the first player to make an active roster through the NFL International Pathway Program.

Having ventured to America from London in 2015, Obada was signed to the Cowboys practice squad after having played but five games of American football for the London Warriors, which is part of the BAFA Premier Division South. After the Cowboys cut him in March of 2016, he was signed and eventually cut by the Chiefs and Falcons before finding a home with the Panthers in May of 2017.

A shining debut was had for the rookie in Week 3 of 2018 during Carolina's 31-21 triumph over Cincinnati as he notched a sack and an interception en route to being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

For the season, Obada finished with eight tackles, including two sacks, along with six quarterback pressures in 10 games.

Due to become a free agent in March at the onset of the new NFL year, Obada is a Panther once again. Consequently, he's also booked a return trip to London, as the Panthers will face the Buccaneers in one of four NFL games in the UK in 2019.

Going forward in his globetrotting gridiron odyssey, Obada, now with a contract in hand, has his eyes on the prize of improving and becoming a consistent contributor for Carolina.

"The main thing for me is being consistent and trusting my training," he said. "I'm going to work on my weaknesses - knowledge of the game, just recognizing things a bit quicker in terms of my keys against the run and things like that.

"I definitely want to step into a more secure role, into a leadership role on this team. That's what I'm working toward."

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