Buccaneers: Cameron Kinley to finally get the chance he deserves

Cameron Kinley, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Cameron Kinley, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

After a poorly-received initial decision regarding his NFL future, Cameron Kinley will finally get his NFL shot with the Buccaneers.

Cameron Kinley deserves a chance in the NFL. After an excellent rookie minicamp with the Buccaneers and a great college career to boot, he deserves every shot at a career in the NFL before he has to serve in the Navy, yet he was initially denied this chance.

As is the case for all service academy student-athletes, the decision to play at the next level is not in their own hands. There have been situations in the past where players were granted deferment of service until after their time in football is up, but this is never guaranteed.

Kinley was denied this chance after rookie minicamp, and while he handled the situation with a level of grace that was to be expected of a man like him, the rest of the NFL world largely disagreed.

The young rookie defensive back for the Buccaneers was not asking for anything preposterous. Deferment of service is the only way that service academy sports programs would be able to survive, and Kinley wasn’t trying to get out of anything.

Whether his NFL career lasted one year or ten, Kinley would serve his country on the oath that he swore. It is entirely fair and reasonable to want to serve in the Navy and play in the NFL if that one in a million opportunity presented itself, and the denial of this chance countered conventional thinking and recent history.

In a fortunate surprise turn, Lucas Tomlinson of Fox News reported earlier that Kinley will be allowed to sign with the Bucs and attend camp in a few weeks, and an official announcement should come out soon.

This is excellent news for Buccaneers fans, Kinley fans, and anyone who enjoys service academy football. Kinley is the type of player that has earned this chance from a lifetime of putting the ideals of both the NFL and the U.S. Navy first in his life, and he has become an immediate fan-favorite after a short time with the team.

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The service academies will now keep their recruits that were wondering if their NFL dreams would be dashed like Kinley’s, the Buccaneers get a rookie that will put every ounce of himself into the game, and most importantly, Cameron Kinley is getting a shot to live out his dream.

We’re all pulling for him.

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