Buccaneers: Cameron Kinley has a clear path towards NFL future
By Rob Leeds
Fans shouldn’t bet against Cameron Kinley making the final roster for the Buccaneers.
No one in the NFL world ever gets tired of feel-good stories. The players that overcome everything to live out their dreams on the biggest stage are the easiest to pull for, and Buccaneers fans get a front-row seat to a career like this with Cameron Kinley.
Yesterday, the Secretary of Defense made the correct decision to allow Kinley the chance to live out his football dream before returning to serve in the Navy. After a month of watching his NFL future die before his eyes, Kinley now has the support of the country and President Biden in his journey to making the final roster for the defending Super Bowl champs.
The path forward is far from easy, and a roster spot isn’t guaranteed. The Bucs have a stellar group of corners that starts with one of the best in the league in Carlton Davis, and Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, and Ross Cockrell can easily provide reps when called upon.
With four spots locked down, Kinley is a part of several players that are competing for one or two final corner openings.
From recent draft picks and veteran signings to players that were already on the team last season, Kinley will have to put every ounce of himself into overcoming his competition if he wants to be one of the few select corners to remain on the team.
The good news for Kinley is that he has everything he needs to earn that fifth spot.
The Buccaneers can count of Cameron Kinley to work on every rep
Despite being the youngest corner currently on the roster, Kinley is a natural leader and has the right attitude to fill one of the biggest holes from this past offseason. Ryan Smith was an excellent special teamer for the Bucs before he departed in free agency, and Kinley can set himself apart by pushing his teammates and stepping into that role.
This may not be as flashy as competing for a true defensive spot, but Kinley isn’t about appearances. The rookie defensive back has already experienced what life without the NFL looks like, and we all have to assume that the hunger that he will bring will set him apart from everyone else regardless of the activity.
Whether they are essential defensive downs, special teams reps, or any other type of exercise, Kinley has the attitude and leadership ability to push anyone on his team.
As a leader at Navy, Kinley will bring an added element to the Buccaneer locker room that will immediately make itself known. Especially with his age, Kinley looks like a safe bet to keep in the locker room in the long run, especially when his play is good, and if rookie minicamp was any indication, training camp should be a continuation of the fun.
Cameron Kinley won’t get anything for free with the Buccaneers, but he has the heart and the talent to set himself apart, even on the best team in the NFL.
Special teams is the name of the game for now, but plenty of players have used this as a jumping-off point to step onto the defensive side of the ball after proving themselves to their coaches first.
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