Efe Obada

Commanders To Re-Sign DL Efe Obada

Efe Obada is sticking in Washington. The Commanders announced that they’ve re-signed the veteran edge rusher.

Obada is now inking his third contract with the organization after signing contracts in each of the past two offseasons. He had 24 tackles and four sacks during his first season in Washington, but he was limited to only five games in 2023 thanks to a knee injury and later a leg fracture.

Born in Nigeria, Obada started his football career by spending time with the British American Football Association National Leagues. He had brief stints with the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Falcons before joining the Panthers via the International Player Pathway Program in 2017.

He ended up spending three seasons in Carolina, including a 2020 campaign where he finished with a career-high 5.5 sacks. He spent the 2021 campaign in Buffalo, adding 3.5 sacks to his resume.

The Commanders have been busy adding DL depth, signing Dorance Armstrong, Clelin Ferrell, and Dante Fowler Jr.. Obada will likely compete for backup reps in 2024.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/23

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

  • Signed off Bears practice squad: DE Jalen Harris
  • Placed on IR: DL Efe Obada
  • Waived from IR: CB Troy Apke

The Packers will soon be getting some reinforcement on defense, as the team designated safety Darnell Savage Jr. for return from injured reserve today. The defensive back has missed the last four games while recovering from a calf injury. The former first-round pick started all six of his appearances to begin the season, collecting 34 tackles. The fifth-year starter will provide the Packers with a welcome boost when he inevitably returns to the field.

It seems like Green Bay is already preparing for Savage’s return, as the team moved on from another defensive back. Dallin Leavitt spent the past year-plus with the Packers, with the veteran joining the organization following a four-year stint with the Raiders to begin his career. Leavitt got into all 17 games for the Packers in 2022, with all of his snaps coming on special teams. The veteran has seen a handful of defensive snaps in 2023, collecting two tackles in 10 games.

Commanders DE Efe Obada Out For Season

The Commanders used one of their IR activations on Efe Obada this season, but the veteran defensive end will not make it through the campaign. Obada suffered two leg fractures during the team’s loss to the Giants on Sunday.

Undergoing surgery Sunday night to repair the two lower-leg breaks (via The Athletic’s Ben Standig), Obada will not return this season. Ron Rivera confirmed Obada is headed back to IR and is not in line to come back.

When Washington initially activated Obada in October, the team had a much stronger defensive end situation. Since trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young, however, the Commanders’ edge-rushing corps is depleted. Obada, who has been with the team for two seasons, was carted off in the first quarter of the team’s upset defeat in Week 11. A patella tendon injury sidelined Obada to start the season.

Despite the trades of Young and Sweat, Obada did not move into Washington’s starting lineup. He worked as a backup over the past five games. Washington re-signed him to a one-year, $2MM deal this offseason. A former Panthers and Bills contributor, Obada totaled 13 sacks from 2019-21. He will finish this season without one.

The trades prompted the Commanders to use Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams as their starting defensive ends. A Smith-Williams hamstring injury brought seventh-round rookie Andre Jones into the lineup for his first start. Toohill recorded one of the eight sacks Washington registered Sunday and has five this season. Smith-Williams has collected one QB drop this year.

Commanders Activate DL Efe Obada From IR

The Commanders will welcome back a key member of their defensive line for tomorrow’s game against the Falcons. The team announced that they’ve activated Efe Obada from injured reserve.

Obada spent the first five weeks of the season on IR while dealing with a patella tendon injury. He was designated to return to practice earlier this week, and after being listed as questionable heading into the weekend, he’s since been removed from the injury report.

While the Commanders will surely welcome Obada back to their defensive line corps, the team isn’t in dire need of pass-rush help. The team has collected 11.5 sacks from their starting-four on the defensive line, meaning the veteran addition will be sliding into a backup role for the time being.

Obada had a breakout season with the Panthers back in 2020, finishing with 5.5 sacks and 15 QB hits despite starting just one game. He added another 3.5 sacks to his resume in 10 games with the Bills in 2021 before he joined the Commanders for the 2022 campaign. While he served as a situational backup to Montez Sweat and Chase Young, Obada still managed to finish his first season in Washington with four sacks. The Commanders re-signed him this past offseason.

The team wasn’t done making moves this morning. The Commanders also announced that they’ve released defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson and promoted cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields from the practice squad. Anderson appeared in all five games for the Commanders this season, collecting five tackles and 0.5 sacks.

Commanders Designate DE Efe Obada To Return From IR

Almost a third of the way through the regular season, the Commanders have to be happy with the performance of their defensive line so far, with 11.5 sacks coming from their starting-four. Even so, Washington will likely be excited to add another pass rusher to the rotation, something they’re soon to do after designating defensive end Efe Obada to return from injured reserve today.

Obada has come a long way since joining the Cowboys after a London tryout with the team during an NFL international game trip eight years ago. Obada wouldn’t make his NFL debut until three years later in 2018, during his time with the Panthers. He would take a couple years to adjust before breaking out in 2020 with career-highs in sacks (5.5), tackles for loss (4.0), and quarterback hits (15) while recording a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Since then, Obada has continued to impress. He notched 3.5 sacks in only 10 games with the Bills in 2021 before joining the Commanders last year and recording four sacks in his age-30 season. Washington was happy enough with his contributions backing up Montez Sweat and Chase Young that they re-signed him to play for them again at 31 years old.

Unfortunately, though, Obada has spent the first five weeks of the season on IR while dealing with a patella tendon injury. With the Commanders opening the practice window, Obada has three weeks to return to the active roster. If he doesn’t return in that timeframe, he’ll revert to IR and remain there for the rest of the season.

Obada doesn’t present as a game-changing addition coming off the bench in Washington, but he immediately makes an already dangerous Commanders defensive line even more formidable. With 13.0 sacks over his last three campaigns, Obada looks to continue contributing at a high level for a position of strength in DC.

Commanders Place DT Phidarian Mathis, DE Efe Obada On IR

Phidarian Mathis will end up missing 20 of his first 21 NFL games. After going down in Week 1 of last season, the former second-round pick is back on IR. Washington also moved fellow defensive lineman Efe Obada to IR.

The third defensive tackle out of Alabama on Washington’s active roster, Mathis missed all of his rookie season due to a knee injury that required surgery. That is not behind this injury designation. Mathis returned to the field during the Commanders’ preseason slate but sustained a calf injury.

This designation will sideline Mathis and Obada for the season’s first four games. In 2022, the NFL reintroduced a limit on how many players could return from injured reserve in a season. After teams could bring an unlimited number of players off IR during the 2020 and ’21 seasons, they are now capped at eight such activations. Mathis and Obada are now part of that roster math for the NFC East franchise.

Washington’s Mathis pick — at No. 47 overall — pointed to Daron Payne moving on in 2023. But Mathis went down in Week 1 of last season, playing only three defensive snaps before the knee injury. Mathis came into his rookie year behind fellow Alabama D-tackle alums Payne and Jonathan Allen, and Payne used his contract year to score a monster payday — four years, $90MM — after receiving the franchise tag. The Commanders now have all three ex-Crimson Tide interior D-linemen signed for at least three more seasons. But Mathis’ career remains on pause.

Obada, 31, is dealing with a patella tendon injury, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. He re-signed with the Commanders on a one-year, $2MM deal this offseason. The former Panthers and Bills edge defender is positioned to play behind the other two ex-first-rounders on a loaded Commanders D-line — Montez Sweat and Chase Young — but his season will start late as well. Obada caught on with Washington last year and registered four sacks. He joins Shaka Toney, whom the NFL handed a full-season gambling suspension, as auxiliary pass rushers out of the mix in Washington to start this season.

These transactions will allow for the re-signings of interior O-lineman Tyler Larsen and defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson. Both players were bumped off Washington’s roster when the team cut down to 53 on Tuesday. Larsen, who has made 11 starts for Washington over the past two years, had re-signed earlier this offseason. As a vested veteran, he passed through waivers and waited for the team to sort through some roster gymnastics. With Mathis and Obada off the roster, Washington will bring back the recently cut veterans.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/15/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Washington Commanders

Smith got a two-year deal from Denver that can max out at $5.5MM, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). Smith got a $1.4MM signing bonus to join the Broncos, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (via Twitter). After finishing last in kicker return average in 2022, the Broncos should get a bump from Smith, who averaged 23.9 yards on his 40 kickoff returns for Houston over the past two years.

Commanders Sign DE Efe Obada

Efe Obada has found his latest home in the NFL. The Commanders announced on Wednesday that they are signing the veteran defensive end. 

Obada, who will be 30 by the start of the 2022 season, has played four seasons in the league. The first three of those came with the Panthers, where he suited up for 42 games. The 2019 season saw him make a career-high 24 tackles, but it’s the only year in which he didn’t register a sack.

Obada’s ability to get to the quarterback was on display the following season, as he posted 5.5 sacks, to go along with a pair of forced fumbles. After signing back-to-back one-year deals to stay in Carolina, the former UDFA joined the Bills last offseason. He started one of ten games in Buffalo, registering 3.5 sacks.

Obada – who was born in Nigeria and raised in London – is best known for a unique distinction he holds. After starting his football career with the London Warriors of the British American Football Association, he entered the NFL via the International Player Pathway Program. When he successfully made the Panthers’ 53-man roster in 2018, he became the first player to do so who took that route.

Now, Obada will join a Commanders’ defensive front headed by edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Given his success as a rotational option, he should play a role in helping the unit improve on its disappointing performance in 2021.

Panthers Reworking Staff

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has had some difficulties making the same immediate impact in Carolina that gained him notoriety in Waco. In two years at the helm, Rhule hasn’t succeeded in improving his team’s win total from the season before he was hired. In an attempt to make some needed improvements, the Panthers announced that they were letting go of offensive line coach Pat Meyer, defensive line coach Frank Okam, and special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn.

The team struggled on both sides of the line this year and it looks like any attempts to improve will be made by new position coaches, while the special teams unit saw four different kickers and three punters throughout the year, including the preseason.

Meyer has been with Rhule since the move to Carolina. He’s been coaching in the NFL for 8 years with stops at the Chargers, Bills, and Bears. Meyer entered the NFL with Marc Trestman, moving with the coach from the CFL to Chicago.

Okam joined Rhule at Baylor and followed the notably loyal coach to the Panthers. Rhule had brought much of his staff from Temple with him to Baylor, so it was safe to assume some of the Baylor staff would end up in Carolina, as well. Despite coaching up young draft picks like Derrick Brown, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Bravvion Roy and seeing career numbers from Brian Burns, Efe Obada, and Marquis Haynes, it seems Rhule is wanting a bit more from this position group.

Chase Blackburn was a longtime linebacker for the Giants before spending his final two years playing in Carolina. After about a year of retirement from playing, Blackburn became a special teams intern in Ron Rivera‘s staff. When Rhule came in to replace Rivera, Blackburn was one of two holdovers from the staff along with Jake Peetz, who is now the offensive coordinator at LSU.

It’s yet to be seen who will replace them, but Rhule continues to show hints of what made him successful at the college level by attempting to make the necessary changes to succeed. With young talent on both sides of the ball, Rhule may yet turn this team around.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/24/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks