5 Panthers players with expiring contracts who won’t be back

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Efe Obada /

DL. CAROLINA PANTHERS. player. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. EFEOBADA. 94

5. Efe Obada – Carolina Panthers DL

Efe Obada‘s story is an inspiring one. But there is no room for sentiment in the NFL.

The defensive lineman has plenty of dominant physical traits to call upon that have flashes briefly through the first nine games. However, if the Carolina Panthers want to propel themselves to bigger and better things in the future then their quality of depth must improve dramatically.

Obada is a likable character that is adored by large sections of the team’s fanbase. He is one of a small number who has managed to achieve a sack this season, with his production also coming with eight pressures and seven quarterback hits from 38 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

Not bad production by any means. And there is still a chance that Obada can develop having started playing football relatively late. But the prospect of better reinforcements coming in for next season would undoubtedly leave him on the fringes.

Carolina did put Obada on waivers earlier this season before bringing him back onto the practice squad and their 53-man roster. General manager Marty Hurney called it a “calculated risk” that did eventually pay off, but it only heightens the uncertainty as to whether or not the decision-makers actually believe in the player.

The preference at this stage would be for the latter. No matter how emotionally attached some fans are to one of the NFL’s best rags to riches stories.