After several weeks of USFL signings, The Michigan Panthers finally joined the rest of the USFL squads and are getting their names on NFL rosters. The Panthers were the last of the original USFL teams to have a player transfer to the NFL as Tino Ellis a Cornerback and Lance Lenoir a Wide Receiver both have signed NFL contracts.
Tino Ellis was a cornerback who was part of a very underrated Defensive secondary and will be returning to the Dolphins for a second time in his pro career. He originally signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2020 after going undrafted out of Maryland. In 2022 for the Panthers he had 36 combined tackles and one interception. Now he’ll have not a second opportunity to see if you can stick with the Miami Dolphins.
Lenoir is much more seasoned Pro Prospect then Ellis. A veteran of eight NFL games Lenoir came to the NFL has an undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Western Illinois. Originally signed by the Cowboys Lenoir has had stints with the Seahawks and Bills as well. Despite playing in eight career NFL games Lenoir has not recorded a catch. Ironically, he led the USFL in receptions in 2022 with 52 and was 2nd in receiving with 484 behind USFL MVP KaVontae Turpin. Lenoir now has the opportunity to extend his NFL career as he has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles his fourth NFL team.
The signing of two Michigan Panthers though great for the PR of the USFL and the marketability does leave two big holes for the team. Though many Panthers fans are happy to see some of the stalwarts of the franchise move on to bigger and better things with so much uncertainty on both sides of the ball the 2023 off-season for the Michigan Panthers just got a bit more difficult.
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