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Cameron Kinley's Request to Delay Commission to Pursue NFL Career Denied by US Navy

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2021

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Undrafted free agent cornerback Cameron Kinley has to put his NFL dreams on hold.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the U.S. Navy has denied Kinley's request "to delay his commission to play in the NFL." Per Schefter, "Kinley is being required to commission into the U.S. Navy as an Ensign."

Kinley signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had a shot to make the team as its fifth cornerback. The Navy's surprising denial of his request caught his agent off guard:

Kinley issued a statement of his own reacting to the denial of his request:

Kinley was his U.S. Naval Academy class president for the past two years and delivered a speech at his graduation May 28.

"Choose to be the light at all times," he said, per Greg Auman of The Athletic. "Make sure you lead by example, but more importantly, lead with humility. Your legacy will not be solely measured by your accomplishments, but rather by the impact that you left on the lives of others."

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said last week he "got goosebumps" when he watched the graduation speech and called Kinley a "tremendous young man."

While Kinley wasn't guaranteed to make the team—he likely would have had to prove himself as a special teams contributor—his dream to play in the NFL has been put on hold.

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