The U.S. Navy has denied a request by cornerback Cameron Kinley to delay his service duty in order to try to make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster.
Kinley was a starter at corner and the Naval Academy class president in his senior season, but went undrafted and accepted a free-agent contract with the Super Bowl champs.
While he had hoped to make the team’s cornerback rotation, he’ll instead join the Navy as an ensign and serve as an information warfare officer.
Kinley’s agent, Ryan Williams-Jenkins, is also a former Naval Academy grad and spoke out about the decision.
“As a Naval Academy graduate, football player and decorated combat veteran I understand Cameron’s commitment,” his statement begins. “I also understand there are ways he can fulfill his commitment while representing the Navy and playing professional sports.
“I played with three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Cardona, who still serves our country as a Navy reservist. If there is a directive and precedent allowing other service academy athletes to pursue this opportunity, what makes Cameron different? It is important to note that this could have a long-term impact on his mental health going forward. He wants to fulfill both of his childhood dreams, playing in the NFL and honorably serving his country.”
–Field Level Media