Hamburg Sea Devils sign German NFL linebacker Kasim Edebali

The Hamburg Sea Devils have announced the signing of former NFL linebacker and hometown hero Kasim Edebali.

The 31 year old Edebali, 6’3″, 253 pounds, enjoyed a lengthy career in the NFL and included stops with the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders.

He spent three seasons with the Saints playing in 48 games (2014-2016). Edebali played in nine games with Denver during the 2017 season, and then appeared in  four games with Detroit after being released by the Broncos.  While Edebali played less than 10 percent of the defensive snaps in his time for the Broncos, he was one of only five players to have played at least 60 percent of the special teams plays. He was picked up by the Bengals for the 2018 season after spending the preseason with the Chicago Bears.

He finished his NFL career with 55 tackles and eight sacks in 62 games.

Edebali’s journey was a dream for a European player. A decade and a half ago, Edebali was a teenage quarterback with the Hamburg Huskies in northern Germany. He hoped he might become good enough to one day play for the hometown Sea Devils in NFL Europe. After NFL Europe folded in 2007, he found his way to Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire as an international exchange student for his junior and senior years of high school after laboriously sending out game film to schools across the United States.

After being converted to linebacker/defensive end, he performed well enough to earn a scholarship from Boston College and his football career took off.

Needless to say, he is happy to be back home playing football in Hamburg:

“I am delighted to be returning to my roots after twelve years in the States. It means a lot to me to be able to play for the Sea Devils in Hamburg. In the past few weeks I have been following closely what is being built with the European League of Football and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Edebali was in close contact with Max Paatz, the General Manager of the Sea Devils, and head coach Ted Daisher.

“The conversations with them convinced me that this is the right step for me at this point. We will have a strong team and I am sure that the Sea Devils will play their way into the hearts of Hamburg football fans again. It is our goal to win the first title of the European League of Football.”

Daisher, whose coaching resume includes stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Riders and Cleveland Browns and who coached in the 2006 Super Bowl with the Eagles, is looking forward to the addition:

“Kasim Edebali brings great experience to our team. He’s a perfect example for players in Germany, which is possible when you work hard and are well prepared.”

The European League of Football starts in June, and will wind up in September. In addition to the Hamburg Sea Devils, the ELF will include the Berlin Thunder, Frankfurt Galaxy, Cologne Centurions, Stuttgart Scorpions, Leipzig Kings as well as the Wroclaw Panthers from Poland and Barcelona Gladiators from Spain.

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