Efe Obada

Panthers Notes: Newton, Hostler, Obada

Cam Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Thursday, the Panthers announced. While Carolina did say Newton will immediately begin his rehabilitation process, the team did not provide a timeline for his recovery. However, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears the signal-caller’s procedure was not of the “major reconstructive” variety, while Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets the operation was relatively minor. Indeed, Newton is expected to resume throwing by the time organized team activities begin in May, per Breer.

Here’s more from Carolina:

  • The Panthers — who currently run a 4-3 defense — may implement more 3-4 looks in 2019, according to Joseph Person of The Athletic. While it doesn’t appear Carolina will make a full-fledged change to a 3-4 front, the club does plan on deploying multiple defensive schemes. Dontari Poe would become a natural nose tackle (a role he played in Kansas City), while Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson would handle middle linebacker. The real issue, however, would be finding edge rushers that could fit into a 3-4 scheme. The Panthers’ potential shift isn’t necessarily being driven by change in personnel or coaching, as defensive coordinator Eric Washington is remaining in place while head coach Ron Rivera will continue to call defensive plays.
  • Former Packers passing game coordinator Jim Hostler has been hired as the Panthers’ new wide receivers coach, the club recently announced. Hostler, 52, is a long-time NFL coach with experience dating back to 2000. He spent only one season in Green Bay working with the team’s offense, and wasn’t retained when the Packers hired new head coach Matt LaFleur. Hostler, who is replacing Lance Taylor on Carolina’s staff, will work with a wideout group that currently includes D.J. Moore, Torrey Smith, Curtis Samuel, and Jarius Wright (plus pending free agent Devin Funchess).
  • Defensive end Efe Obada‘s one year-deal with the Panthers is worth $570K, tweets David Newton of ESPN.com. The minimum salary for a player with one year of NFL experience (like Obada) will be $555K in 2019, so Carolina is giving the 27-year-old a slight pay bump. Obada was scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he wouldn’t have hit the open market unless the Panthers opted to non-tender him.

Panthers Re-Sign DE Efe Obada

The Panthers re-signed Efe Obada to a one-year deal, the team announced. The defensive end was set to be an exclusive rights free agent this offseason, so he would not have hit the open market anyway unless the Panthers renounced his rights. 

Obada made history when he became the first player to move from the league’s International Pathway Program to an active roster. The defensive end, who has also had stints with the Chiefs, Falcons, and Cowboys, finished out the year with two sacks. He also earned NFC defensive player of the week honors for his September performance against the Bengals in which he recorded a sack and an interception. That game marked his NFL debut and it could not have gone better for him.

I’m very grateful. It’s another opportunity to contribute to the team and obviously support myself and my family,” said the Nigeria-born player, who plans to spend most of his offseason in England.

In 2019, Obada says he’s eager to take another giant step forward.

The main thing for me is being consistent and trusting my training,” Obada 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.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/9/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

  • DL Collin Bevins

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

  • DB Shaquille Richardson

Philadelphia Eagles

  • C Jon Toth

Washington Redskins

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Falcons, Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers’ Roster Down To 77

The Panthers made a series of moves on Friday to bring their roster to 77 players, still 24 above the 53-man limit (courtesy of Bryan Strickland of the team’s website):

Waived:

  • C Brian Folkerts
  • CB Devonte Johnson
  • DT Gabriel Mass
  • DE Arthur Miley
  • DE Efe Obada
  • TE Bryce Williams
  • DT Connor Wujciak
  • CB Zack Sanchez (waived/injured)

Released outright (vested veterans who are not subject to waivers):

Placed on IR:

NFC South Teams Take On Int’l Players

The NFL announced that the teams of the NFC South will be carrying an additional overseas player on their practice squads during the upcoming season. This is part of the league’s flagship International Player Pathway program.

Now, the Falcons, Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers will all be operating with an 11-man practice squad while the rest of the league has ten. However, they don’t necessarily have an advantage over other clubs because these additional overseas players cannot be activated during the season.

Here is a look at the players who will be joining each taxi squad:

  • Falcons: Alex Gray, TE – Gray, a former rugby star, is the first English rugby union professional to quit the sport to pursue American football. The 26-year-old was named the England Sevens player of the year in 2015. He not to be confused with the undrafted Appalachian State safety of the same name who joined the Bucs’ 90-man roster.
  • Panthers: Efe Obada, DE – Obada, who grew up in the Netherlands and England, was on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2010. Prior to the 2016 season, he also had brief stints with the Chiefs and Falcons.
  • Saints: Alex Jenkins, DE – Jenkins was born and raised in England but actually has a background in American football. Back home, he played for the Bath City Academy and for the Bristol Aztecs before earning a spot on the Great Britain youth team. He played his college ball in San Antonio, Texas at the University of the Incarnate Word. He had 3.5 sacks in his senior year.
  • Buccaneers: Eric Nzeocha, LB – Nzeocha is now the second German-born player to join up with the Bucs in franchise history. German safety Claudius Osei spent the 2005 campaign on Tampa Bay’s taxi squad as part of a similar program. Nzeocha’s brother Mark is a linebacker for the Cowboys.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/26/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Falcons announced that they’ve waived David Glidden, defensive end Efe Obada, fullback Will Ratelle, cornerback Jordan Sefon, and guard Jordan Walsh. Atlanta is simply whittling down its roster before the 75-man deadline comes on Tuesday, and the club now has 84 players on its squad. Four of the five players who were waived — with the exception of Obada — were 2016 undrafted rookie free agents.
  • The Colts have reached an injury settlement with tackle Kevin Graf, removing him from their IR, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/28/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Broncos have waived tight end Manasseh Garner with a non-football illness designation and signed free agent tight end John Phillips to take his place, writes Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. Primarily a blocker, Phillips has 95 appearances (32 starts), 45 catches and four touchdowns on his six-year resume with Dallas and San Diego.
  • The Bengals announced that they have signed safety Jimmy Wilson. Wilson, who turns 30 on Saturday, appeared in 13 games with San Diego last season before the team released him in December. Earlier this year, he hooked on with KC, but that stint was short lived. Since entering the league as a seventh-rounder in 2011, Wilson has played in 73 regular-season games, logged 28 starts, and amassed five interceptions.
  • The Lions announced the signing of linebacker Dominique Tovell as well as the release of wide receiver Damian Copeland and linebacker Jerry Franklin.
  • The Jets announced that they have cut rookie punter Tom Hackett. With Hackett out of the picture, fellow rookie Lachlan Edwards has presumably won the team’s punting job.
  • The Falcons announced the signing of defensive end Efe Obada. In a related move, Atlanta waived wide receiver Daje Johnson.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/7/16

The NFL saw quite a few minor moves today, and we’ll round them up here:

  • The Browns announced the signing of third-round offensive tackle Shon Coleman. Coleman, selected with the No. 76 overall pick, was a two-year starter at Auburn. Cleveland have now signed 11 of their 14 rookies from this year’s enormous class.
  • The Chiefs announced that they have signed outside linebacker Dezman Moses and safety Peni Vea. To make room, Kansas City has waived defensive back Keith Lewis and linebacker Efe Obada. Moses, a key special-teamer, has appeared in 29 games over the past two seasons for the Chiefs.
  • The Steelers waived former University of Miami linebacker Tyriq McCord, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. McCord initially joined Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent. The Steelers also signed TE Paul Lang and LB Kevin Anderson while releasing tight end Jay Rome, reports Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link)
  • The Falcons announced that they have signed defensive end Nordly Capi and guard Michael Huey, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes. Atlanta also waived defensive end Josh Dawson. Huey, who spent time with an Diego and Green Bay last season, played for the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and was a three-time AFL champ.
  • The Cardinals signed wide receiver Rico Richardson and waived fellow receiver Jeff Beathard, as Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com tweets.
  • The Saints waived LB Dominique Tovell, who signed with the team as a UDFA in May, according to Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com (Twitter link). New Orleans also placed defensive end Mitchell Loewen on the Reserve/NFI list today after he cleared waivers, Woodbery tweets.
  • The Lions announced they’ve signed wide receiver Damian Copeland and cut guard Andrew Zeller, Dave Birkett of The Detroit Press tweets.
  • Colts guard Isiah Cage reverted to the IR after being waived-injured and clearing waivers, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/10/16

Today’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Cardinals have re-signed tight end Ifeanyi Momah, tweets Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange. Momah survived Arizona’s preseason roster cuts in 2015, but suffered a torn meniscus before Week 1, ending his season. Momah received an ERFA tender from the Cards last week.
  • Corey Fuller signed his exclusive-rights tender with the Lions, Wilson tweets. Fuller caught four passes for 76 yards last season after posting 212 yards on 14 receptions in 2014.
  • A Saints cog from 2012-14, tackle Bryce Harris re-signed with the Falcons, his 2015 employer, according to Evan Woodberry of NOLA.com (on Twitter). The former UDFA played in two games for the Falcons last season.
  • The Cardinals cut wide receiver Damond Powell with a non-football injury designation, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Earlier updates:

  • The Cowboys have re-signed cornerback Josh Thomas to a one-year contract, says Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Thomas, originally selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft by the Cowboys, rejoined the team at the end of last season. In between his two stints in Dallas, he played 51 regular-season contests for the Panthers, Lions, Colts, Jets, and Seahawks.
  • Tight end Zach Sudfeld has re-signed with the Jets, agent Jason Bernstein tweets. Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter) adds that it is a one-year deal. Sudfeld was a restricted free agent, so his new deal will presumably be for less than the low-round tender of $1.671MM.
  • The Chiefs announced (on Twitter) that they have signed defensive lineman David King and linebacker Efe Obada.
  • The Dolphins have re-signed linebacker James-Michael Johnson, per Howard Balzer of USA Today Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Chargers re-signed ERFA guard Kenny Wiggins, Balzer tweets.
  • The Jets will not tender an offer to punter Ryan Quigley, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets.