This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
NEW YORK – The NFL will have 13 athletes from nine countries competing for a spot in the league’s International Player Pathway program.
The league on Tuesday announced the athletes who will begin training in the United States in February before getting a chance to work for team scouts in March, hoping to be signed as a free agent. Players can also be selected or assigned to a training team in one of the NFL’s eight divisions for the 2022 season.
“The International Player Pathway program is an important part of our ongoing efforts to help ensure that the best athletes in the world play in the NFL – regardless of their country of origin,” said Damani Leech, NFL’s chief operating officer for international.
The program started in 2017 and gives athletes from other countries the chance to get a spot on an NFL list.
Defender Jakob Johnson started six of his 17 games with the New England Patriots, and offensive lineman Jordan Mailata started 24 of 29 games with the Philadelphia Eagles. They reached 1,000. snaps of their careers this season after entering the NFL through the program.
Linebacker Efe Obada of the Buffalo Bills came through the program and has played 52 games in four seasons. Tight-end Sammis Reyes, who moved to the United States at the age of 13, the first player born in Chile to play in the NFL this season joined Washington and started his first game in Week 11.
The NFL held combinations in England and Mexico in October, drawing 56 players from 16 countries.
At the end of the training camp, each player can stay on his team’s training team with an international exception that gives his team an extra player. Players can also sign up for the active list during the regular season under certain standards.
The players in the 2022 group are Leonel Misangumukini from Austria, Brazil’s Leandro Santos da Fonseca; French Souleymane Karamoko; Marcel Dabo from Germany; Latvian Ralfs Rusins, Hector Zepeda Hernandez of Mexico; Kehinde Hassan Oginni, Chigbo Roy Mbaeteka and Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi of Nigeria; Thomas Odukoya from Holland; and Adedayo Odeleye, Ayo Oyelola and Bamidele Olaseni from the United Kingdom.