Cameron Kinley’s time with the Buccaneers came to an end Sunday, leaving his NFL future uncertain.
The former Navy team captain landed with Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent in the spring and became a topic of conversation when he was initially denied a special exemption to delay his Navy service and pursue his NFL ambitions. That decision was later reversed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who granted Kinley’s request in early July.
A month later, Kinley is again available for hire in the NFL as one of three players released by the Buccaneers Sunday.
“I’m definitely grateful I had an opportunity to be a part of the organization,” Kinley told ESPN. “I was able to learn a lot on and off the field from the players, coaches and support staff. I wish the Buccaneers the best this season and I look forward to what God has next for me.”
Kinley is not the first military member to delay service in order to pursue a career in professional football, and the Buccaneers’ timing in releasing him might have been a favor to him in order to increase his chances of latching on with another team in need of defensive backs. We’ll see if he finds a fit elsewhere, or if his next step will take place with the Navy.