Browns Sign Player Who Never Played Football In High School Or College

The Browns continue to bolster their roster following the NFL Draft

How Giants' Roy Mbaeteka made it from Nigeria to NFL

Given how much injuries ravaged the Browns offensive line in 2023, it’s hard to blame them for stockpiling players at those roles.

Two days removed from the from the NFL Draft, Cleveland signed tackle Roy Mbaeteka as part of the league’s International Player Pathway Program. A native of Nigeria, Mbaeteka is an extremely unique addition for Cleveland, in that he never played football in high school or college. That’s actually one of the requirements of the program.

Mbaeteka – 6-foot-8, 330 pounds, does have several years of NFL experience under his belt though. He was originally signed by the New York Giants in 2022 and spent time on the teams practice squad that season. He did the same with the Chicago Bears just last year. He’s never played in an actually game to date.

Earlier this offseason, Cleveland was granted international market rights in Nigeria as part of the league’s push to grow the game outside of U.S. borders. As the Browns try to make inroads in the African nation, Mbaeteka is fitting signing for the franchise.

Recent changes to the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program affords all 32 teams the opportunity to sign an international player to an additional 17th practice squad spot. The Browns will have all of spring and summer to work with Mbaeteka and see if he can earn a roster spot before potentially transferring him to the practice squad ahead of next season.

In the meantime, by being tagged as the team’s international player for 2024, the 24-year-old won’t count against the Browns 90-man roster.

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