Philadelphia Eagles: Alex Ellis is the new Julian Vandervelde

(Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
(Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /

After being waived for the third time in five weeks, Alex Ellis is rapidly becoming the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles equivalent of Julian Vandervelde.

It seems like every couple of years, the Philadelphia Eagles find a player they like, but don’t love.

Typically, these players are jacks of all trades but masters of none, yet always seem to stick around because of a willingness to do whatever it takes to win – even spend part of the season unemployed.

While recent players like receiver/returner DeAndre Carter can fit the bill, the classic example of this not-so-journeyman is Julian Vandervelde.

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A 2011 fifth-round pick out of Iowa, Vandervelde holds the NFL record for being released 21 times over five seasons – with (virtually) all of those coming as a member of the Eagles.

At one point, Vandervelde’s status became a bit of a running joke for the Birds’ fanbase, as Chip Kelly would sometimes release their deep bench interior reserve multiple times in the same months – even in the same week.

Now granted, we shouldn’t feel too bad for Vandervelde, as he earned a little over $2 million for his efforts over the course of his career, but still, that constant uncertainty must have been nerve-wracking.

Maybe we should ask Alex Ellis the same question, as he’s quickly becoming the Vandervelde of 2019.

Much like Vandervelde – a guard/center by trade – Ellis is a Power Five product (Tennessee) who can do a little bit of everything, from lining up at tight end and h-back on offense, to logging 70 percent of the team’s special teams snaps over the three weeks he was on the active roster. However, much like Vandervelde, Ellis’ s snaps at his native offensive position have been virtually nonexistent – with a big fat goose egg through three games.

So when the Birds needed to free up a roster spot to elevate ex- Buffalo Bills’ cornerback Ryan Lewis to the active roster for Week5, Ellis was the first man on the chopping block to make it happen.

But don’t feel bad for Ellis, as I’m sure the Eagles will resign him yet again in the not too distant future once the cornerbacks get healthy, that is, unless another team snatched him off waivers like DeAndre Carter in 2018.

Frankly, that wouldn’t be the worst thing for his long-term career prospectives.

Much like with Carter, who has remained happily employed by the Houston Texans since joining the squad mid-way through the season, Ellis deserves a chance to stick with a club who isn’t going to use him and let him go every time an injury pops up.

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But until that day (hopefully) happens, Alex Ellis will surely follow in the footsteps of Julian Vandervelde and wait for the Philadelphia Eagles to call for his next opportunity. Hopefully the team at least pays for his apartment in the meantime, as that level of job-insecurity would have me all kinds of stressed out.