NFL cuts tracker: Former Cougars So'oto, Fangupo among locals to be released (updated)
Uncredited, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Editor's note: This story will be updated as cuts continue to be announced. Last updated at 4:50 p.m. MDT Tuesday.
An NFL journeyman heading into the fourth year of his pro career, former BYU defensive star Vic So'oto is searching for a team again.
The 6-foot-3, 263-pound linebacker was released by Pittsburgh Tuesday morning. The Steelers later cut six more players, including former BYU defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo, to reach the league-mandated 75-player limit by Tuesday's 2 p.m. MDT deadline. Following these first round of cuts, teams must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by a 2 p.m. deadline Saturday.
So'oto signed with Pittsburgh during the offseason. Since signing with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011, the former Cougar has been a part of six different NFL teams, including the Packers (twice), Raiders, Redskins, Cardinals, Saints and most recently the Steelers.
He had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in Pittsburgh's Week 2 preseason victory over Buffalo.
Fangupo has been in Pittsburgh since signing with the team in December 2012; he played in four regular-season game last year for the Steelers and had one tackle.
Also of note from Tuesday, all seven players with local ties — including five rookies — on the Raiders' roster made it through the first wave of cuts. These players include Tony Bergstorm (Utah), Bojay Filimoeatu (Utah State and Granger HS), Keith McGill (Utah), Jake Murphy (Utah and American Fork HS), Donald Penn (Utah State), Karl Williams (Utah, Southern Utah and Layton HS) and Spencer Hadley (BYU).
Still, at a time when most NFL player transactions involve athletes being released, former Utah defensive lineman Joe Kruger received positive news Monday.
Kruger, a Timpanogos High product, had four tackles, a tackle for loss and a blocked field-goal attempt for the Eagles during preseason play. He was a seventh-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2013 and spent last year on injured reserve.
He now joins his brother Paul, an outside linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, in the AFC.
Other locals who have been cut thus far:
Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State (Jordan HS)
The rookie Larsen, who signed with Miami after going undrafted, was waived by the Dolphins Tuesday. He played 20 snaps during Miami’s first three preseason game against Atlanta, but that reduced to 11 snaps the next game and he didn't play in the Dolphins' contest against Dallas on Saturday.
Harvey Unga, RB, BYU (Timpview HS)
A little over one week after BYU's all-time leading rusher signed with Jacksonville on Aug. 16, the Jaguars released Unga and 10 other players Sunday. In his only preseason game with the Jaguars, Unga had one carry for five yards as Jacksonville lost 13-12 to Detroit Friday.
Unga was recently featured in a teaser for an episode that chronicles his NFL journey that will be a part of the NFL Network's upcoming series, "Undrafted."
"I've got a glimpse," Unga said in the clip that aired on the NFL Network Thursday night. The "Undrafted" series premieres Oct. 23. "I've got a glimpse of what I wanted — to feel, to taste, to engulf myself in. I think I've only scratched the surface."
Unga, who has transitioned into a fullback in the pros, was a seventh-round NFL supplemental draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2010. He spent parts of four years with the Bears, mainly on the practice squad.
David Reed, WR, Utah
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