Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Cameron Kinley waived by Bucs despite Navy exemption, looks forward to 'what God has next'

Former Navy cornerback Cameron Kinley’s dream of playing in the NFL is on hold. After being granted an exemption by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to delay his military service and attend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training camp, Kinley was waived Sunday. The move came a day after the team lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-14, in its first preseason game.

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Kinley, who made six tackles (the third most on the team) against the Bengals, may now be claimed on waivers by another team. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll become a free agent and can sign anywhere.

“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 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 took to Twitter after the news broke to praise God and proclaim his continued trust in Him:

Kinley, who calls himself an “Ambassador of Christ” in his Twitter bio, is vocal about his faith in Christ and posts frequently about Jesus on social media. Most notably, he has a series of tweets he calls “30 Second Thursday” in which he makes a short video explaining the significance of a Bible verse or concept:

“I’m trying to use the gift that God has given me with the ability of public speaking,” Kinley told The Spun in April. “Something I’m big on is mental and spiritual growth. Your mind controls most of your actions and how you go about your day-to-day life. I truly feel that if people can control the way they view different situations, they’ll be able to approach them in a better manner and be able to achieve their dreams.

“I’m hoping I can touch people every Thursday with a quick message.”

The Buccaneers originally signed Kinley as an undrafted free agent in May, but with all starters returning from the team that won Super Bowl LV, he was unlikely to make the final roster.

At Navy, Kinley was a standout and a team captain on the field while also serving as president of his class. The Memphis, Tennessee, native recorded 88 total tackles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble in 27 career games with the Midshipmen.

He told ESPN that he plans to continue to pursue a career in the NFL.

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