In life, some things are bigger than football. The Buccaneers would’ve loved to see what Cameron Kinley could do at training camp, but service comes first.
Life in football after attending a service academy is a tricky situation. Generally, once you graduate, and even a year before that point, you are locked into a period of service of five years upon graduation. There are situations where deferment is granted, meaning you can serve down the line after getting a chance to play in the NFL, but Cameron Kinley of the Buccaneers did not get this chance, according to Adam Schefter.
The U.S. Army and Navy get the final say as to whether or not they will grant deferred service for down the road, though this is not a requirement. In this case, the Navy chose not to grant this opportunity to Kinley, and the Buccaneers will now have to start searching for another DB to bring into camp.
Kinley was a long shot at making the roster, but he did very well at OTAs. The rookie DB will still be missed with a leadership-focused attitude and play style that unsurprisingly came with a player from a service academy team, even if just on the practice squad.
While this is an unfortunate loss, the Bucs do have other players to try out to fill the void.
Kinley was in consideration for the fifth or sixth corner spots depending on how many the Bucs decide to keep, and Tampa has many other names to try out before they make their final decision.
The Buccaneers already have Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Ross Cockrell for the defensive snaps, and names like Herb Dean, Nate Brooks, and Antonio Hamilton will get an extra look on special teams and in depth roles without Kinley on the roster.
Tampa and its fans will undoubtedly miss Kinley; he already looked like a fan favorite from his limited sample size, but it is impossible to find fault in service to one’s country, and Kinley will continue to show the traits that made fans fall in love with him in his new position.
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