On Tuesday reports suggested the Pentagon has reversed their initial decision.
Defense secretary to allow Navy CB and Naval Academy class president Cameron Kinley opportunity to sign with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and attend training camp. Official announcement coming soon from Pentagon. https://t.co/4JAzVdqrg7
Kinley participated in the Bucs rookie mini-camp earlier this year after signing as an unrestricted free agent and impressed head coach Bruce Arians in the few days he was on the field.
“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.
“If he can get free by training camp we’d love to have him back. He’ll miss a lot, but he’s a very bright young man.
After initially being denied, Kinley found an ally in U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who wrote a letter on his behalf.
“Mr. Kinley is not seeking to terminate his commitment to the Navy,” Rubio wrote in a letter obtained by TheHill.com. “Far from it. He wishes to promote service to our great nation from one of the country’s largest stages. I implore you to right this wrong.”
Other U.S. Armed Forces football players have been granted deferral of service status in the past. In 2019, President Donald Trump allowed academy graduates the ability to play pro sports. Navy’s Malcolm Perry was allowed to join the Miami Dolphins after the 2020 draft. Apparently that policy has changed under the Biden administration.
Kinley played four years at Navy and totaled 88 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, 12 passes defended and one forced fumble in 27 games. Even despite losing his starting role during the 2020 season, Kinley remained a team captain. And to make his resume even more impressive, Kinley was also the Academy’s senior class president.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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