ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Efe Obada, one of the newest defensive ends on the Buffalo Bills roster, has had an NFL journey that's been filled with adversity.
He was born in Nigeria, was homeless at one point, and spent his younger years living in foster homes. After playing British American football in 2014, Obada got a shot in the NFL a year later, signing as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.
He later spent time with both the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs before landing in Carolina as a player with the NFL's International Pathway Program.
"I just appreciate it for what it is," Obada said about his journey. "I'm gonna enjoy it for as long as I have it."
In his first year of the Pathway Program , Obada was guaranteed a spot on the practice squad but couldn't be promoted to the active roster. In 2018, he had a strong enough showing and became the first player from the program to make a 53-man roster.
“Trust the process, believe in yourself, and make sure you do extra," Obada said about the advice he'd give to other Pathway Program players. "We are working from a deficit from behind in order to try and close that gap.”
After being on four other team rosters, Obada is ready for his next stop in Orchard Park where he hopes to step up his game. He believes the Bills are the perfect fit as he reunites with defensive line coach Eric Washington.
“He cares about your career, he cares about you as a person," Obada said about his coach. "Whatever happens, I’m gonna get better from this experience.”
With little experience in the NFL, Obada knows he has a lot to learn and it's why he tends to pick his teammates' brains about various drills and techniques. His teammates have come to respect him and his willingness to grow.
"He can go out there and do everything I do, probably even better," defensive end Mario Addison said. "It shows the tremendous character he’s got.”
As Obada enters another year in the league, he's hoping to prove he's got what it takes to be a defensive starter. He knows his journey is unique, but he doesn't want to be a "story". He wants to be a player known for his work ethic and contributions.
“I’m lucky enough to be able to not be from here so I can appreciate it so much more, Obada said. "But that's also what lights a fire in me because I know there's no other opportunity like this out here."