Ross Ventrone played a key role on Villanova's 2009 National Championship football team, but he was more famous for being signed,cut, and re-signed by the New England Patriots a record number of times. Now, that cycle seems to be coming to a close.
Ross Ventrone, who often refers to himself as "Rusty Benson," was the undersized safety that made big plays to help the 2009 Villanova football team on it's way to it's first national championship. The former wrestler and transfer from Pittsburgh followed his brother Ray's footsteps after college, signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent.
Last season, he was promoted to the active roster, cut and re-signed over 21 times during the season, which might be some NFL record. Ventrone was released by the Patriots again this past Summer, during training camp. Despite being involved in so many transactions, the team paid him more than the average practice squad player, probably to make up for the fact that he was put through so much in-and-out processing.
Yesterday, he signed a reserve/futures contract with the Steelers. The move adds him to the team's off-season roster and will include him in their off-season program and likely training camp as well. Ventrone is originally from a suburb of Pittsburgh, so the latest move will keep him close to his old Chartiers Valley stomping grounds and give him a chance to earn a spot with the local franchise.
Ventrone has played in eight NFL games, recording just two tackles along the way.
His brother, who also starred at Villanova, is now on the active roster in Cleveland.