Navy Denies Bucs Free Agent Option To Play

June 7th, 2021

CB Cameron Kinley.

[UPDATE: 1:51 p.m.] Joe mentioned this guy once during rookie minicamp because he made a nice pick and housed the ball.

It may be a while before the Bucs ever see this player on the practice fields of One Buc Palace. Maybe never.

The Bucs signed cornerback Cameron Kinley, who played for Navy, as an undrafted free agent. Kinley recently graduated from the Naval Academy and needed a waiver from the Navy Department in order to report to Bucs camp.

Instead, the Navy Department denied his request. The young officer is now ordered to report for duty. Adam Schefter of ESPN has the details.

Kinley’s football future, specifically with the Bucs, is unclear. We do know football for Kinley is on the back burner.

He will be soon known as Ensign Kinley.

Anchors aweigh!

[UPDATE: 1:51 p.m.] Kinley issued a statement on Twitter concerning his denial by the Navy Department to have a delay in his commission which would allow him to play for the Bucs.

51 Responses to “Navy Denies Bucs Free Agent Option To Play”

  1. m0j0 Says:

    I served in the Navy and don’t like to here stuff like this one bit. He deserves a chance to pursue his dream of playing football. This will do nothing for recruiting, especially from a college athlete perspective.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    doesnt seem right imo…

    thanks for your service!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Well, Roger Staubach made it work, but he was a pretty competitive guy. And very good!

  4. SB~LV Says:

    I am sure he is understanding and glad to have been signed by a NFL team.
    IMO , if he was a high round pick with an obvious future in the NFL things may have been different.
    He has an even cooler life ahead of him now

  5. Joe Says:

    This will do nothing for recruiting

    That’s true. Then again, the academies have a much higher calling than being football factories.

  6. Medicated Pete Says:

    I’d get kicked-outta the Navy on day 1 then report for duty at One Buc

  7. Joe Says:

    I’d get kicked-outta the Navy on day 1 then report for duty at One Buc

    No you wouldn’t. You’d be locked up in the brig and miss all of minicamp and maybe training camp too. So would likely p!ss away a promising career both in the navy and football.

  8. rrsrq Says:

    My nephew just signed with the Naval Academy, he won’t suit up to play for a year. He chose the Academy over pretty much all the Ivy League. He gets it, football is a ways to a mean, rather he decides to make the Navy a career or not, but he is a dam good three star linebacker

  9. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Joe wasn’t he one of the top Navy graduates in his class? My guess is he is super sharp and the Navy has plans for him.

  10. D-Rome Says:

    You’d be locked up in the brig and miss all of minicamp and maybe training camp too. So would likely p!ss away a promising career both in the navy and football.

    Yep, this right here. Not only that but getting “kicked out” of the military usually ends up, at best, with an Other Than Honorable discharge.

  11. WalkdaPlank Says:

    I served in the Navy for 5 years, and let me tell ya, it’s absolutely hilarious how many people you meet that will claim they had “D1 scholarships” or “full rides to Alabama and USC and Florida” or could “throw a 100 mph fastball or a 12-6 curveball from top to bottom” and when you ask what the heck they are doing in the military it’s always the same “ah well I got hurt” “tore my ACL” “needed Tommy John”

    It will be funny to find out that this guy’s claim to almost being in the NFL will be true!

  12. Mitch Says:

    I wasn’t excited about a brainwashed paper pusher being on the bucs in the first place. Still, for the sake of our future, I hope I am proven wrong and he somehow serves our country and leads honorably.

  13. Irishmist Says:

    He should tell the Navy he identifies as a conservative. Then they would be glad to get rid of him.

  14. Aceofaerospace Says:

    He signed a contract with the Navy before he signed with the Bucs. Sucks for him, but it’s the right call. I’m not going to debate the other players that were allowed to play. They should not have been allowed either.

  15. lambeau Says:

    I wonder what happened–Joe Cardona is the Patriots’ long snapper and in the Navy Reserve; Keenan Reynolds also was allowed to play after graduation.

  16. Jimmy Says:

    This crap wouldn’t happen if DT was in office. Ed Glazer would call him up and tell Donny to let him play or no more checks.

  17. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    You would think in light of the political enviorment and the need to be sensitive to everyone . That this fine young man who has worked so hard would be given the chance to pursue the opportunity . It doesnt mean he cant fulfill his navy obligations later. Hopefully they will reconsider.

  18. WalkdaPlank Says:


    Not to get too political but DT didn’t even help his own virus stricken aircraft carrier last year, not sure he would care about a would-be ensign footballer lol

  19. Rich 12 Says:

    My son is in the navy,and the first thing he said when we picked this kid up was “No way the Navy allows this kid to play for the bucs”..

  20. MJM Says:

    Medicated Pete Says:I’d get kicked-outta the Navy on day 1 then report for duty at One Buc.

    I don’t doubt that is what you would do. However someone with your limited mental capabilities would never have to worry about that situation.

  21. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I served in the Navy, do not agree with this. Secretary of the Navy needs to step in before this becomes a PR and recruitment problem. GO NAVY!

  22. D-Rome Says:

    There is precedent for the Navy making this kind of decision. David Robinson had to serve two years prior to playing in the NBA. If the Navy can make that kind of decision for a #1 overall draft pick then they won’t make an exception for the undrafted free agent.

  23. Bucyou Says:

    D-Rome Says:
    June 7th, 2021 at 12:44 pm
    You’d be locked up in the brig and miss all of minicamp and maybe training camp too. So would likely p!ss away a promising career both in the navy and football.

    Yep, this right here. Not only that but getting “kicked out” of the military usually ends up, at best, with an Other Than Honorable discharge.

    Unless your name is Hunter Biden.

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The guy lost his starting job as a Senior. That doesn’t sound like a guy destined to make an NFL roster, let alone a loaded NFL roster like the Bucs have.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Thank you for sharing Joe.

  26. SB Says:

    Good Point D Rome.
    Precedent was set with Robinson.

  27. mark2001 Says:

    Irishmist…those are as scarce as hens teeth… one of the last real ones left when John McCain died. Most those calling themselves that now are really just cult of personality opportunists and big debt creators.

    Sad this kid won’t get a chance, it seems. But as was said, he was at best a longshot in the NFL, but should be primed for a successful career in the Navy.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    D-Rome gets it. There really isn’t anything to get excited about. Sure, who wouldn’t want a crack at playing football for a living?!
    Serving your country? That’s a whole ‘nother level.

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    They normally let guys attempt to play, not sure why they’d block him.

    As for him not being good enough to play — the Bucs invited him to camp, they don’t just do that as a favor for guys who have no chance to play.

    I wonder what the reasoning is and who actually denied this. Then again if you’ve seen the military ads where they’re going after the woke — well they might need any real men they can get.

  30. crasey Says:

    The 2019 DOD policy requires SECNAV to address a request to delay commissioning on a case by case basis. Kinley’s question about why the Navy said no but the AF and Army said OK for others is a fair question. If the paperwork had moved a little slower his fate probably would have determined on the field. OTOH the Navy may just need his IW skills more than it needs the PR from his presence on an NFL practice squad.

  31. Beeej Says:

    Did Roger Staubach and Napoleon McCallum have to do a year or three of service?

  32. GhostofSchiano Says:

    The Navy could have delayed his enlistment, even based it off him making the team or not. His family and friends could write their Senator / Congressman / representative to possibly over turn this decision. Sad because this kid will have this in the back of his mind during his Naval service.

  33. Zoocomics Says:

    All military academies carry this type of commitment, however he did get a full ride and a top notch education, unfortunately it all comes at a cost. Just goes to show you how impressive it is to see some of these military academies go toe-to- toe with some of these other colleges that don’t have the same commitment. What 4/5 star recruit would ever go to any of these military academies? Especially knowing the post-grad commitment. I think it’s a minimum of 4 years.

    My suggestion, which could also help these programs recruit better, is to add them into the reserve forces post graduation. Do a delay swear-in, allow them to have a chance at getting drafted or a try-out. If they’re lucky enough to make the cut then add them to the reserve forces. They’ll still have a commitment, and they’ll most likely get special privileges by not having to abide by the 1 weekend a month military commitment, but during the offseason they can make up that time over a month period.

  34. Anthony Dickson Says:

    I feel bad for the guy that he can’t fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL but being a Naval Officer isn’t such a bad gig, I hope he takes full advantage of the opportunities provided to him by serving in the armed services. My father-in-law joined when he was 18, retired from the military at 38 after 20 years, he then purchased a home and went to collage with help from the Gov’t and after getting his degree he was hired by a well known global company and later on became C.F.O., after 20+ years there he finally retired for good at 65, he told me he was making $36/hr in retirement and that was over 20 years ago, not to mention the Gov’t provided health insurance that covered himself and his wife and kids until they were all grown up.

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    He knew the rules and fully understood his chances of a waiver were very slim.

    He will most likely make an excellent officer instead of a roster even with a waiver.

    My first choice in college was an AFA appointment, which I was unable to fulfill due to ankle surgery late my senior year in HS. Kinda changed my life.

    The academies are not for everyone.

  36. Aceofaerospace Says:

    He had other scholarship offers. He chose the naval academy. Somewhere there is a person who missed out on the naval academy because this man was chosen. It’s the correct call.

  37. PSL Bob Says:

    Bottom line, he got a free college education in exchange for a commitment to serve 5 years of active duty. The commitment doesn’t say “unless you get offered a contract from a pro sports team.” What are the odds he would even make the team? If he did how many years would he be in the league. The Navy invested too much time and money in the young man to have all that knowledge sit idle for years before reporting to duty. Serve your time, stay in shape and give it another go when you complete your active duty.

  38. Bill in Seminole Says:

    Beej says: Did Roger Staubach and Napoleon McCallum have to do a year or three of service?

    Staubach was commissioned as a supply officer because of his color-blindness. After graduation from the Naval Academy, he volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

  39. Beeej Says:

    Wow, didn’t know Staubach was color blind…. That takes away Vinny’s biggest excuse. (SEEMED like his career started a bit late, but I was a kid)

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with PSL Bob & Cobraboy all the way. We as taxpayers spent a fortune sending young men like Cameron Kinley to the military academies. There are some very strict entrance requirements, and it’s extremely competitive. The ‘cost’ of that free ride is a 4-year commitment to serve your country, and personally I’d say that’s a very reasonable ‘cost’ for a free 4-year college education.

    In my own 26-year Air Force career, I knew two Academy All-Americans (a QB & a RB) very well, either of whom could’ve easily played in the NFL. Neither ever got that opportunity, and both ended up serving in combat as fighter pilots. One of them is retired as a 4-star general, and the other did very well also. Imagine what our country would’ve lost had the politicians at the time said ‘No problem, go ahead and play in the NFL. Surely we can find someone else to fulfill your military commitment.’

  41. Anonymous Says:

    I’m going to state the elephant in the room …that all these other guys are white men! IJS!

  42. Mitch Says:

    @Anonymous Please read Discrimination and Disparities by Dr. Thomas Sowell, and get back to me.

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    Anonymous … WTH does what color you are have to do with honoring a commitment?

  44. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I flew A-10s with Chad Hennings out of RAF Bentwaters (I was one year ahead of him) in the early 90s, and his story was similar…and he gave Uncle Sam the time/money back by going through with his committment to the Air Force after doing well playing football at the Air Force Academy. Hennings had a committment and honored it. Like so many who serve, he was a selfless guy did what he agreed to and went on to a successful NFL career. A lifetime chance is also to get an Academy education and be a leader in the Navy. The taxpayers spent of a good chunk of change educating him, and his Congressional appointment meant someone else who wanted that opportunity couldn’t go. I had wanted to be a lawyer much of my life but I also wanted to fly. It was guys like Hennings who got me to thinking as a young Air Force captain that I could do that later on in life. And he was right. Later on went to law school and able to practice law after my service.

    Kinley’s letter smacks of whining to me…tattling to public opinion to wiggle out of a committment he already made and had others invest in. I’m not impressed. Not so sure he will be such a good naval officer based on that. One thing an officer should never do is go back and tell others how loyal and right he has been–it should be obvious. In Kinley’s case, that is not apparent. Again…whining. So, not sure he should be on the Bucs or in the Navy.

  45. Pete I Says:

    I worked at IMG and worked with several college recruiters and one was for the USMA West Point and he always told me finding players with the GPA and other items needed to go to West Point wasn’t the problem…it was convincing them to give 6 years to the Army. For many just going to a service academy would be a dream come true.

  46. German Buc Says:

    As the Romans said: ‘Pacta sunt servanda’ – so you can’t complain.

    But looking at the odds for UDFAs it might have been a better choice FOR THE NAVY to say, live your dream for 6 months. If you are signed by a team to the active roster by then, you will have to pay off your tuition fee with 300k to give American tax payers their money back and you are allowed to play in the NFL as long as your dream lasts. After retirement you will have to serve your time and if yor are too old by then you will serve as recruiting officer.

  47. mark2001 Says:

    The real message is that we had four guys ask for delayed commission, as mentioned in the young mans letter. Three were allowed…his was the only one denied. Since he was the greatest achieving young man among them, and the only one denied, I suggest we change our recruiting slogans…. “Truly succeed, and we won’t allow you to be all you can be.” “screw up or be average and we will let you chase one of your life’s dreams…. be outstanding, and we got you”.

  48. Joe in Michigan Says:

    We’re talking about a backup (lost his starting spot as a Senior) for a college team that went 3-7. How is this an argument?

  49. mark2001 Says:

    Joe…if they had all been refused…no problem. But many of them were allowed to postpone their enlistment, just not him. Frankly, I don’t know if the kid could make this team. But that isn’t the point. It is about equal opportunity. And as he was the very picture of success in the Academy, it doesn’t look right.

  50. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Ah, okay.

  51. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Getting into the Naval Academy and graduating is not a trivial accomplishment.

    All student-athletes that get scholarships that allow them to pay for college and further their career goals should understand what they are doing.

    When you accept certain appointments you should understand the agreement or “contract” you are making. The fact that a president or a governor may sign a new law or a government agency may make a new policy later should not change any of that.