Chris Tierney Jersey

Defensive end Efe Obada plays like a man fighting for
survival when he steps on the football field.

Given his life story Packers Elite
, it's understandable.

The Nigerian-born Obada says he was a victim of human trafficking at the age
of 10. He said he and his older sister were abandoned in the streets of London,

Now he's a Carolina Panther.

The 26-year-old Obada is hesitant to divulge many details of his past, saying
he still has "deep trust issues" with strangers and that he doesn't want to
jeopardize losing his focus on maintaining his roster spot.

What he does share is far from the usual path to the NFL.

Obada said when he was 8 years old his mother arranged for him and his older
sister to move from Nigeria to the Netherlands, where she was living at the
time. After a couple of years of living there, she decided to send the children
to the United Kingdom so they could have a better life.

That turned out to be a mistake.

Obada told the Panthers team website the stranger that was supposed to take
care of children didn't carry through on the promise. Instead, he and his sister
were left alone and homeless. There, they learned to survive until eventually
they were discovered and placed in foster care. They moved from home to home
until Obada was old enough to make his own decisions.

"I was young and I didn't have any say into what was happening in my life,"
Obada said. "I was ignorant to it."

Obada now knows he's not alone.

According to, 21 million people worldwide are victims of
human trafficking 鈥?an issue Obada hopes to tackle when he has a more solid
platform in the NFL.

Obada said he's simply not ready to talk about the details of what happened
during that time of his life.

"Some of the issues, I haven't dealt with," Obada said quietly. "I haven't
really taken time to understand. ... Right now I just want to focus on football
and make the most of it."

Obada went to college in London, where he discovered the game of football for
the first time at age 22.

He caught on with the London Monarchs, the equivalent of an American semi-pro
team and helped them win a championship as a tight end and defensive end. He
gained some attention there, and got a workout with the Dallas Cowboys while the
team was overseas playing a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Obada signed with the Cowboys practice squad but was later released. Still,
that opened some doors for him and he had brief stints on the Falcons and Chiefs
rosters before joining the Panthers practice squad last season.

Obada was chosen as one of four players to participate in the NFL's
International Pathway Program Los Angeles Rams Jerseys
, which began in 2017. But he's the only one to make a final
53-man roster, which were determined on Saturday.

He's due to earn $480,000 this season, significantly more than the $129,200
that a member of an NFL practice squad makes.

"It instilled a hunger in me that I have until this day," Obada said of his
early life experience. "And I feel like I can apply it in a game. It's kind of
going into a state of survival 鈥?that is what I do every day. I don't take this
opportunity for granted."

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he sees that every day in practice.

The coach said 6-foot-6, 255-pound Obada's passion and drive is one of the
things that helped him earn a roster spot over the team's 2017 third-round draft
pick Daeshon Hall.

"He practices 100 miles per hour," Rivera said. "I got some guys, they get
upset with him because on Friday (during walkthrough practice) he's going hard.
But you say to the guys, 'Hey, if you came from where he came from, if you dealt
with what he dealt with, that's the way you're going to approach everything in

Giants running back Saquon Barkley has signed an impressive rookie deal,
reportedly paying him a total of $31.194 million over four years, every penny of
it guaranteed. Six days earlier Chris
Tierney Jersey
, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell rejected a
five-year deal that included only $10 million in fully-guaranteed cash.

It’s an intriguing dichotomy, but it’s irrelevant to Bell.

The No. 2 overall pick in the draft would have received that same deal
regardless of whether he plays running back, quarterback, offensive line, or any
other position (including punter or kicker). The value comes from where the
player was picked, not where the player lines up.

Besides, even though Barkley received a significant guaranteed payment, Bell
never would have agreed to a four-year deal worth only $31 million. Again, it’s
driven by the slot, which carries both that dollar value — and which makes the
full amount of the deal guaranteed.

So no aspect of Barkley’s deal means anything to Bell, who’s in line for
$14.5 million this year under the franchise tag, and who is scheduled to hit the
open market in March, getting whatever any of the 32 teams will be willing to
pay him.

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