The Bucs signed undrafted free agent cornerback Cameron Kinley shortly after the draft, hoping that the Navy would approve his request to delay service. But on Monday, a day before the start of Tampa Bay’s three-day mandatory mini-camp, Kinley’s request was denied.

That story went viral on Monday, and on Tuesday, head coach Bruce Arians offered his reaction to the news.

Bucs Cameron Kinley

Former Navy CB Cameron Kinley – Photo by: USA Today

“Well, obviously he’s very, very important to the Navy,” Arians said. “That’s kind of a catch-22. I know he wants to attempt to be a professional football player, but he obviously means a ton to the Navy. I’ll leave that up to them. We’d love to have him because I thought he showed promise and signs when he was here.”

Arians said that if the Navy has a change of heart and allows Kinley to go to training camp with the Bucs that he would have a place on the roster.

“If he can get free by training camp we’d love to have him back,” Arians said. “He’ll miss a lot, but he’s a very bright young man.

On Monday Kinley issued his own statement about the Navy’s decision to deny his opportunity to join the Buccaneers.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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mark2001
11 days ago

I think the major point is that they approved the other three guys, and punished the guy at the top of his class, that did everything ship shape, and is the guy denied. The reasonable thing for them to do is deny them all, or let them all delay their commission. It makes little sense as it stands. So the message is to reward the lesser achiever/talent and punish the greater achiever/talent. Yes…sounds like todays military. We won’t allow you to be all you can be.

Last edited 11 days ago by mark2001
surferdudes
Reply to  mark2001
11 days ago

Well of course they want the guy that was at the top of his class. They invested in him, and want pay back. Sorry, but the dude knew what he was getting into when he signed up. He could’ve went to a civilian college, but chose to become an officer in the Navy. He made a commitment to them, and them to him, now it’s time to honor that.

Horse
Reply to  surferdudes
11 days ago

Exactly!

Naplesfan
Reply to  surferdudes
11 days ago

Kinley will be worth a great deal more to the Navy in five years than he will be today, just based on maturity alone, let alone picking up life skills that no 21 year old typically possesses. This is not a matter of whether he does his service – it is strictly a matter of timing of that service.

mark2001
Reply to  Naplesfan
11 days ago

True.. and it isn’t about letting him out of his service. It is about delaying. They gave others exemptions. But not him. The kid was too good, while they were glad to get rid of the others, I guess.

mark2001
Reply to  surferdudes
11 days ago

So why did they give the other guys exemptions? I’m not disagreeing with you. But to play favorites and say yes to one and no to the other? Seems the same logic that let the rich find outs during the last major war, while everyone else had to carry the ball and risk their lives.

Horse
Reply to  mark2001
11 days ago

Don’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen. He should have never written that letter.

Captain Sly
Reply to  Horse
11 days ago

Some of these kids struggle with that word “commitment”

Naplesfan
Reply to  Captain Sly
11 days ago

There is no denying of commitment. It is strictly a matter of the timing of that commitment – either today, while he is a 21 year old who knows virtually nothing of real life .. or a few years from now when he is far more mature and life experienced and skilled than he is today.

Captain Sly
Reply to  Naplesfan
11 days ago

Seems pretty obvious that the Navy is demanding loyalty to his “commitment” now and not later. Delayed Commitment is Non Commitment no matter how you spin it.

mark2001
Reply to  Captain Sly
11 days ago

Believe it or not, but some of us guys in our late 60’s and 70’s never served America during our draft years after being called. Not me.. served and honorably discharged.. but just saying. Takes all kinds I guess. But that isn’t what this is about . It is about deferred service.

Last edited 11 days ago by mark2001
Eddie
Reply to  Captain Sly
11 days ago

He did not want to “decommit” he want to “defer”. Think of it as going to graduate school, graduate school of life and then serve. Some of these kids will struggle less with life and can be better for our Armed Force by then.

Eddie
Reply to  mark2001
11 days ago

Navy and the rest of US Armed forces being all volunteer service need the brightest and best to sign up. His being in the NFL will help a lot with the recruiting front. That is why Arm Forces has been giving out a lot more deferments. It will benefit Navy in the long run. On his case, the fact the other three guys were approved and he is not, he may have some special skills that the Navy need now, we don’t know. Maybe he can work out something like the Joe Cardona with the New England Patriot who is… Read more »

BucNnole
11 days ago

I’m getting pretty tired of everyone saying “he knew what he was getting into.” No shit. The issue is the way the Navy handled it. They allowed him to sign with the team and then the Secretary of the Navy denies it. Come on that’s just wrong. He never said he didn’t want to fulfill his commitment. He just wanted to pursue his dream of playing pro football first. Especially with there being a precedent of other cadets being allowed to defer including a Naval Cadet in 2019. It really irritates me that the Navy did not handle this better.… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  BucNnole
11 days ago

Precisely. Kinley wants to fulfill his obligation, the only issue for him is timing, and the fact that the Navy dishonestly and disreputably led him on then slapped him down, making him look like some sort of an ingrate whiner. Very very very poor look for NavSec. I am a Navy vet and I have a daughter who is on active duty Navy service today. She waited to join up until much later in life than most (30s), and she is performing very well and has a clear head start over most of those who entered with her due to… Read more »

ManchesterBucc
Reply to  BucNnole
11 days ago

Kinley would be a very long shot indeed to make a final roster, though by PR’s account he looked fair at the Rookie minicamp. It just seems disappointing that he isn’t allowed to have a go. At least then he could enter service knowing that he gave it his best shot after training with some of the greatest NFL players of all time. Without having the chance it would be so disappointing to think ‘what might have been’. Said as a non-naval man but who has the greatest respect for those who have been there and done it.

Horse
11 days ago

I sure hope no one gave him that advice to write that letter? He’s in the military and his first priority should be Duty, Honor, Country. It should have never ever mentioned those players nor those branches of service. He’s digging himself a hole. He should just keep quiet report to duty and complete his MOS service school and apply for active duty at the nearest Tampa Bay area military facility.

Naplesfan
Reply to  Horse
11 days ago

Horse, please, learn something before typing. Kinley is an officer candidate, in the Navy. There is no MOS for any officer in any service, and there is no MOS anywhere in the Navy. The Navy has officers, warrant officers, LDOs, enlisted “ratings”, and unrated “seamen” – no MOS anywhere. Once he commissions, whenever that occurs – and it WILL occur – he won’t have a specialty, he will be a commissioned Naval line officer … though it is also an option for him to go Marines too. Kinley is protesting the dishonest and dishonorable behavior of NavSec who dishonestly and… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Naplesfan
mark2001
Reply to  Naplesfan
11 days ago

While giving other guys exemptions. Well said.

Eddie
Reply to  Naplesfan
11 days ago

Thank you for the clarification.

Horse
Reply to  Naplesfan
10 days ago

I retract what I said. Army/Marines still have to this day. I forgot Navy is different. If he doesn’t take his commission he is still owed those service years unless Navy says other wise.

bucballer
11 days ago

Apparently he is more important to the United States as an Officer in the military rather than an football player. Way back when Roger Stauback, QB of the Cowboys was a graduate of the Academy and he was able to pursue an NFL career. He was one of the best too. Apparently, things have changed. Maybe his MO was too important to part with. Seems like a quality young man. A commitment is a commitment, just wish it was universal across the board for all.

mark2001
Reply to  bucballer
11 days ago

We need a draft for service of some type to America, one option being military service for every young person. The last fifty years, and what have we become? Everyone out for their own pleasures….thinking freedom is a right and not a responsibility…. while service and sacrifice have become cheap words, with fake patriots that never served waving flags made overseas with cheap labor. This kid is at least willing to proudly serve and sacrifice for America. I don’t think delaying that service is a problem. We have much bigger problems with the meaning of service in America.

Naplesfan
11 days ago

This treatment of Kinley is equivalent to a groom leaving a bride standing at the altar. Or vice versa.
Put yourselves in his shoes – how would you feel? I’d be really pissed.

mark2001
Reply to  Naplesfan
11 days ago

Especially when it was about four weddings at once, the other three got married, and you were the one to get stuck.

Horse
Reply to  Naplesfan
3 days ago

I would feel proud to serve my country over football. If I still had the desire, I would ask the Navy if they would transfer me to a duty station close to the NFL team who signed me. He went about it the wrong way.

BleedOrange78
11 days ago

To those who commented, Roger Staubach completed his active duty requirement of about five years then resigned from the service. If Kindly does the same, fine. I am not condoning what the Navy did. It should not have allowed him to do anything with the NFL. That should have been made very clear to him and all other midshipman. And this includes ALL the services – they are there to prepare people for the armed services notrofessoonal sports league. The others currently being allowed to participate in league activities need to be pulled ASAP. I understand why he would be… Read more »

Horse
Reply to  BleedOrange78
3 days ago

Exactly! Stay a happy also had a tour in Vietnam too. Country first.

SenileSenior
11 days ago

As an old-timer, I invite all to take some time and look into Roger Staubach’s story. (Wikipedia will do it.) He had to postpone his football career for at least four years because of similar obligations that he had made. Who knows what his career would have been had he been able to go straight into the NFL. He did quite well at any rate. He lead that franchise to becoming labeled “America’s Team”.

mark2001
Reply to  SenileSenior
11 days ago

What a team…what a Defense. I remember when the Flex defense…the Doomsday flex defense was the thing. But then, I heard one analyst make an observation that I will never forget about it… he said that with the talent that team had on the Defensive side of the ball, they could have run most any D and that the team would have still have a great defense. No offense to Tom Landry.

cobraboy
10 days ago

One wonders if he had signed with a more Woke™team would the SecNav have granted the exemption.

The fact is the Glazers are Trump supporters, so I’m not at all surprised Kinley’s petition was denied.

The current acting SecNav is a bean-counter, not a military guy, a Berkely grad, not a USNA guy.

Horse
3 days ago

He needs to shut up and report before he destroys his military career. Then try to work something out.