Patriots' Ross Ventrone is at home on waiver wire
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—It's Wednesday, so Ross Ventrone is on the waiver wire again.
The New England Patriots released the safety for the seventh time this year, letting him go to make room for offensive lineman Donald Thomas two days after Thomas was released so Ventrone could be activated for Monday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But don't worry about Ventrone. If history is any guide, he'll be back with New England soon: He's been on the transaction wire a total of 17 times this calendar year already.
That's not a taxi squad. That's more like the Green Line trolley, complete with regularly scheduled stops.
"He's not frustrated at all," Ventrone's agent, Gregory Diulus, said Wednesday as he waited to see if Ventrone would clear waivers. "The team likes him. They like his productivity on game day. He played really well this past week in particular. They are also having issues with juggling their roster and having as many productive players as possible."
A 5-foot-8, 190-pound defensive back and special teamer who was undrafted out of Villanova, Ventrone has been active for six games, with one special teams tackle. He has filled in on defense in case of injury.
"Look, in the end you play in a game or you don't -- that's what it comes down to," coach Bill Belichick said last week. "You get prepared to play every week and if the coaches give you the opportunity to play, you play. If the coaches don't, then as a player you take what you learned that week and get ready for next week. He's done a great job with that. Outstanding. He's been ready."
Belichick also praised Ventrone last week for his ability to deal with an unusual situation.
"We've had other guys along with him that have been on and off ... the roster, but probably none more than him," Belichick said. "He might lead the league in transactions. He has to be right up there. But he's handled it great."
Diulus said the team is not allowed to make any promises when Ventrone is released, and any other team is able to claim him. Ventrone doesn't take it personally, and he sees it as one way to help out the team.
Ventrone, who was cut last Tuesday and added to the practice squad Thursday, said he just wants to play. He was promoted from the practice squad Monday and played in that night's game.
"He loves the Patriots," Diulus said. "He loves the situation there. In his opinion, he is a member of that team. He believes in everything that's going on there."
Ventrone originally was signed by New England after the 2010 draft; he was cut and re-signed once during training camp and again during the season.
The team brought him back in January, and since then he has been: cut, signed, cut, added to the practice squad, activated from the practice squad, cut, added to the practice squad, activated from the practice squad, cut, signed, cut, added to the practice squad, activated from the practice squad, cut, added to the practice squad, activated from the practice squad and cut again.
"To be bounced around like that, it is pretty unique," Ventrone said in the locker room Friday. "I'm going to prepare like I'm going to play. I don't look at it any differently than if I was here the whole time. I don't get discouraged. ... I just hope they bring me back, and they have so far."