Kinley was a captain of the football team this past year and a standout corner for the Midshipmen. Despite going undrafted, he was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has by all accounts been a standout for them this offseason.
But despite granting similar requests to delay active commissions, the Navy denied Kinley’s. He is now set to serve an ensign, putting his playing career on hold – possibly indefinitely.
The NFL world is pretty split in terms of reacting to the news. Fans on Kinley’s side are crushing the Navy for not giving him his NFL shot. Others are pointing out that Kinley agreed to serve when he signed his commission and now has to make good on his military commitment.
Don’t join a military academy if you want to go pro! Reject those offers and join a REAL school https://t.co/8xyXXidWSu
— Walter James Venerable, III, M.S. (@DrWJV3PhD) June 7, 2021
As crappy as that is for him, he signed a contract and needs to fulfill it. Its really that simple. https://t.co/pOfTuLfLEM
— Braves/49ersSeason (@Cy_Kotic1) June 7, 2021
Cameron Kinley has done nothing but good for the Naval Academy. It is truly sad that he was denied the chance to chase a childhood dream, but other service academy players are allowed too. Extremely disrespectful! https://t.co/gZqZMg5jYQ
— richard kinley II (@kinleyII_) June 7, 2021
He made a commitment so I get it. Sucks for the kid but it is part of the deal when going to a service academy. https://t.co/iM31ODIKxo
— T (@BucWild007) June 7, 2021
I hate this for him, losing a once in a lifetime opportunity at the NFL when millions of people already serve. https://t.co/2QSehr5IBT
— Daniel Salib (@salibdaniel1) June 7, 2021
As a recruit in 2017, Kinley wasn’t exactly one of the highest-rated prospects in the country. He had offers from Navy, Army and Air Force, as well as offers from FCS schools such as Pennsylvania and Morehead State.
Kinley chose Navy though, and went on to be a standout performer for Ken Niumatalolo.
In 27 games over four seasons for the Midshipmen, Cameron Kinley had 88 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble.
It may be a while before we hear from Kinley again now that he’s off to the Navy. Hopefully this situation doesn’t end his NFL dream entirely.