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Former Michigan Panthers Cornerback Tino Ellis, Joins Dolphins, Other USFL Players Get Waived

The USFL footprint shifts once more in the NFL as the continued movement of the back-end roster pieces have impacted lives of several USFL fan favorites. Tino Ellis was recently signed to the Dolphins Practice Squad, however Bailey Gaither and Maurice Alexander were both released from the Ravens and Lions respectively. This comes as a bit of a shock as Alexander was recently signed to the Lions 53-Man roster.

Ellis has been on the practice squad wire since coming undrafted out Maryland in 2020. The former Panthers cornerback was signed by the Saints in 2020, released only to latch on with the Dolphins for practice squad stints in 2020 and 2021 with Miami. While with the Panthers recorded 36 Tackles and had one interception in the USFL before earning another shot with the Dolphins. He would be waived with an injury settlement in mid-August before being signed once more on October 10th. Per Spotrac he’s earn approx. $127,000 throughout his NFL career.

While Ellis gets another shot at his NFL dream, it appears Bailey Gaither and Maurice Alexander will have to wait a bit before another opportunity. Gaither was picked up by the Ravens (2nd time), only to be released in favor of Andy Isabella. Alexander who was recently added to the 53-man roster was waived after appearing in two games and taking the role as the Lions primary kick returner. Alexander returned 5 kicks for 129 yards, over the past two weeks. It seems that Alexander does have a decent chance of returning to the Lions via the practice squad.

Currently the USFL have now 18 former players under NFL contract, with possibly more on the way. Most recently the Denver Broncos put Jacob Bobenmoyer on the IR and tried out six long snappers, three of which were recently in the USFL. While Gaither and Alexander have their NFL dreams on hold, for Ellis it’s another opportunity to prove himself that he belongs in the NFL.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.

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