4 international players added to NFL rosters for 2019 season
The NFL announced Monday that each team in the AFC East will carry an additional overseas player on its practice squad as part of an expansion of the International Player Pathway program.
Valentine Holmes, a former professional rugby player in Australia, will join the New York Jets.
Jakob Johnson, a former University of Tennessee tight end and German Football League player, will join the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Durval Queiroz Neto, who played football in Brazil, will join the Miami Dolphins, and former England national rugby player Christian Wade will join the Buffalo Bills.
The AFC East clubs will carry the overseas players on their rosters until the end of training camp. At that time, the players will become eligible for an international player practice squad exemption. That means the teams would get an 11th practice squad player who is ineligible to be activated during the 2019 season.
The AFC East was chosen to receive the international players in a random draw.
The International Player Pathway Program was instituted in 2017 and aims to provide international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.