Complete 2019 NFL International Pathway Program

Moritz Boehringer is back in the NFL. The German tight end, who became the first European player ever to be drafted without playing American college football back in 2016, has been allocated to the Bengals as part of the league’s international pathway program, per Darin Gantt of

Boehringer’s assignment to the Bengals completes this year’s program. Each season, teams in two divisions get a roster exemption to develop a player from another country. The player can be the 91st man on offseason rosters, and can be an 11th player on practice squads during the regular season. Boehringer was drafted by the Vikings, but spent his rookie season on the practice squad without ever appearing in a game. He came into the league as a receiver, but has since transitioned to tight end. He was with the Bengals as part of this program last year, and will be back in Cincy in 2019.

Here’s a list of the rest of the players selected to participate:

Baltimore Ravens

  • FB Christopher Ezeala

Buffalo Bills

  • RB Christian Wade

Cleveland Browns 

  • DB Tigie Sankoh

Miami Dolphins

  • DT Durval Neto

New England Patriots

  • TE/FB Jakob Johnson

New York Jets

  • RB/WR/KR Valentine Holmes

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • TE Christian Scotland-Williamson

The AFC North participated last year, but this year the AFC East is taking the place of the NFC South. Notably, Efe Obada was a participant in the program with the Panthers last year, and he went on to make Carolina’s 53-man roster last season. He was re-signed this offseason.

Each of the players assigned to the AFC North were with those teams last year. Scotland-Williamson is a former rugby player, while Boehringer, Sankoh, and Ezeala all played American football overseas before making the leap.

All of the AFC East players are new to the program. Given the Patriots’ track record of finding hidden gems, Johnson will likely end up leading the league in receiving yards at some point. Johnson was signed from the German football league. Neto was playing football in Brazil before being added to the Dolphins. Wade and Holmes are both former prominent rugby players.

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4 comments on “Complete 2019 NFL International Pathway Program

  1. jb19

    “Given the patriots track record of finding hidden gems, Johnson will likely end up leading the league in receiving yards at some point” – pretty funny. I assume this is a joke… “Hidden gems” means players that fit into a coaches system and are elevated by a QB that is the GOAT. If these “gems” go elsewhere, they flame out.

    • And? Dudes would still be considered hidden gems considering when the Patriots acquire them. Their success translating to other teams isn’t impactful on whether or not they were a gem for the Patriots.

      • jb19

        We have different meanings of gems as it relates to players then. Pats find players that work well within their system, actual gems, like Adam Thielen, Kurt Warner, Antonio Brown are taken very late in drafts, or not at all, and become hall of fame players and first team all pros. A player like Julian Edelman wouldn’t be very good outside of New England. We saw what happened w Donte Stallworth, Danny Amendola and Jamie Collins, amongst countless others, that do well while with the Pats. But play terrible elsewhere.

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