British NFL star Efe Obada joins the Buffalo Bills after Carolina Panthers’ adopted son says emotional goodbye to Charlotte
- Defensive end Obada is going to the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal
- Obada spent four years in Carolina and said goodbye emotionally
- He is leaving after his best season in the NFL, which produced 5.5 sacks
Efe Obada has taken the next step in his career by joining the Buffalo Bills for a one-year deal after four years with the Carolina Panthers.
After his most prolific season in the NFL, which brought in 5.5 sacks, Obada became a limited free agent.
And while Carolina declined to offer him a new deal, he moves into a new home with many familiar faces – former Panthers D-linemen Mario Addison and Vernon Butler are also in Buffalo.
Efe Obada spent four seasons with the Carolina Panthers and moves to Buffalo
And 28-year-old Obada, who became a fan favorite in Carolina, took an emotional farewell to Charlotte and her people.
“During my time in Carolina, you showed me nothing but love and support,” he said in a statement on Twitter. “You won or lost to us on Sunday and you followed me to London and back.
‘You’re not a fan base, you’re a family. My family and you always will be. I love you from the bottom of my heart.
‘Growing up in foster families, I learned that exercise is part of life. The only difference this time is that I have never lived in a place where I have loved the people and they have loved me too. ‘
“I will always be grateful to the Panthers organization, Coach Ron and Marty Hurney, for giving me this opportunity and my start in the NFL.”
Obada played in 42 games over the past three seasons, with 50 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and two fumbles recovered.
Although planned as a defensive ending, he was a major rotating piece all along the Panthers front last season, playing in all 16 games.
Among his 5.5 future Hall of Famers were Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees and it was Obada who picked up the last season bag of Brees’ career.
Obada faces Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the final game of the regular season
Smuggled to England with his sister from Nigeria at the age of 10, Obada spent part of his teenage years on the streets of London.
After moving through foster care, he found a hobby in American football, which he started after a chance meeting with a friend.
After a brief stint with the London Warriors, Obada earned a lawsuit with the Dallas Cowboys. Spells at the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons followed, before joining Carolina in 2017 as part of the NFL’s International Pathway Player Program.
After head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane moved from North Carolina to New York State in 2016, several former Panthers have taken the same step.
Like Obada’s career, the Bills have progressed step-by-step under McDermott, reaching the AFC Championship last season, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.
And Obada will also find a familiar accent in the practice squad, with Christian Wade also seeking to take the next step in his NFL career.