Averaging it out over the past year and a quarter, Steelers outside linebacker Vic So'oto has received notice of employment or termination from the roster of an NFL team about as often as he's paid rent.
According to Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly, So'oto has been signed or released 13 times in 16 months due to various injuries stemming from a foot issue he had in college to back injuries he suffered with the Green Bay Packers.
Those injuries are things a team can't ignore, but the fact he continues to be signed, and is playing in regular season games when he gets hurt (bruised a lung on special teams for the Oakland Raiders last year) is compelling. Almost as compelling as the brawl he got into with Steelers guard Will Simmons during OTAs last week.
His career is like the Johnny Cash song "I've Been Everywhere."
He's been to Green Bay, then to Oakland, back to Green Bay, on to Washington, over to Arizona and now to Pittsburgh.
For Pete's sake.
The Man in Black and Gold told Kaboly his injuries aren't a detriment and he manages to stay optimistic about them.
"It has been terrible, but at the same time it is a blessing," So'oto said. "To be still able to be in cleats and be able to run around here is something I cherish every day. Being cut so many times, you know exactly how coaches want you to play and what you need to offer them to make a roster. It's been kind of an up-and-down career in the NFL, but everything is looking on the up-and-up now."
Up and up is the needle's direction of this Steelers' defense, except for depth at outside linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 262-pound So'oto played tight end at BYU before being moved to defensive end. He got looks at end and outside linebacker, but the raw talent he had didn't necessarily afford him a specific position, which is likely why he wasn't drafted in 2011, but so highly sought out after it. He made the 53-man roster of the defending Super Bowl champion Packers despite not being drafted, and he was on their active roster. Same with Oakland the following season.
This is a man without a home, more than anything else. Clearly, he's shown some value as a special teams player, and perhaps that will be his key to making this Steelers' team - as thin as it seems they are at outside linebacker, he very well could be in the running for a roster spot.