Decision not expected soon on Vikings long snapper Austin Cutting’s military commitments

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The Minnesota Vikings drafted Air Force long snapper Austin Cutting with their 12th and final selection of last week’s NFL Draft.

If that selection had been made a few years ago, Cutting may have been allowed to join the Vikings and begin an NFL career while serving in the reserves. However, the Department of Defense overturned that policy in 2017, which in turn has put Cutting’s football career into temporary limbo.

According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, Air Force associate athletic director for communications Troy Garnhart said in an email that a decision has yet to be made on Cutting’s status for this season.

“At this point, about all we can say is that he will absolutely serve and may have an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Garnhart wrote in an email. “It’s very early in the process and discussions are ongoing. We will not have a resolution for some time.”

Former Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette tried to go to the NFL two years ago only to have the Air Force nix a waiver request that would have allowed him to play. Robinette is nearing completion of his two years of duty and hopes to latch on with an NFL team at some point this year. Former Navy quarterback-turned-wide receiver Keenan Reynolds was able to get a waiver before the policy was changed. He’s spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks. He played in two games last year for Seattle.

In the meantime, Cutting will participate in Minnesota’s rookie mini-camp this weekend.

13 responses to “Decision not expected soon on Vikings long snapper Austin Cutting’s military commitments

  1. I couldn’t even get out of weekend duty, don’t let the Louie bail because of football. Join the rest of us in misery!

  2. I totally understand the contract these young men sign. A paid for degree from a Top 10 school for 5 years of active service and 3 more years inactive upon graduation. Great deal. But, as much as the NFL and the Armed Forces wrap themselves in the Flag, how is letting drafted or free agent signed Academy players, pursue pro sports out of the gate, still an issue? And why are the cases subjective? Either make a rule for all, despite the draft number or signing bonus, or say all prospective athletes must serve X amount of years before they can pursue professional sports.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the fact that TV channels such as ESPN and ABC, benefit off of Academy based games, it just leads me to believe that these young men deserve a chance at pro sport reciprocity. I don’t think there has ever been a case of an Academy athlete shirking his or her appointed military duties after a professional sports career. Why do we make this such an issue?

  3. nightclub_neil says:
    May 2, 2019 at 2:48 am
    I totally understand the contract these young men sign. A paid for degree from a Top 10 school for 5 years of active service and 3 more years inactive upon graduation. Great deal. But, as much as the NFL and the Armed Forces wrap themselves in the Flag, how is letting drafted or free agent signed Academy players, pursue pro sports out of the gate, still an issue? And why are the cases subjective? Either make a rule for all, despite the draft number or signing bonus, or say all prospective athletes must serve X amount of years before they can pursue professional sports.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the fact that TV channels such as ESPN and ABC, benefit off of Academy based games, it just leads me to believe that these young men deserve a chance at pro sport reciprocity. I don’t think there has ever been a case of an Academy athlete shirking his or her appointed military duties after a professional sports career. Why do we make this such an issue?
    ————————————————————————————–

    The players know when they accept an appointment to one of our military academies what the deal is. So there is no issue. They must fulfill the obligation that they signed up for.
    In case you don’t know, the “greatest Dallas Cowboys player of all time”, Roger Staubach played QB at Navy and was drafted by the Cowboys in the 1964 draft in the 10th round. He was also drafted in the AFL in their 12th round by the Chiefs.
    He fulfilled his 4 year commitment to the Navy, including 1 year in which he volunteered to go to Viet Nam. He joined the Cowboys in 1969 at age 27, played 11 years in the NFL, and won 2 Super Bowls. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1985.
    So — it can be done, folks. This fine young man should fulfill his obligation to the military just as all the other men and women at our military academies must do, then if he wants he can resume his career in the NFL. There is no issue
    He accepted the very special offer to go to the Naval Academy and he needs to act like the officer he is by fulfilling his part of the deal.

  4. The NFL could resolve this easily. Roster exemption for anyone drafting/signing an active duty military player. The player finishes his military service, uses leave to attend camps then competes for a spot when their term of service is up. Win-Win for everyone.

  5. I was on active duty for 24 years. These guys should have to serve four years active. Taxpayers paid for their education not so they could graduate and play football for millions. It’s hard to get into a service academy and if they aren’t going to hardly serve then they just wasted a spot that could have gone to someone else.

  6. Interesting problem. For the last 4 years the Pats long snapper, Joe Cardonna, has worked at a navy facility in New London CT while he played with the Pats. New London is about an hours drive from Foxboro.

    You would think that the services could find a job for Academy players near where their team was located. Then they could work both jobs. Cardonna has gotten the Navy a LOT of good press over the years.

  7. The Vikings have a good long snapper now in Kevin McDermott. I think they drafted Cutting for no reason other than to save about $450K on the salary cap. If Cutting isn’t able to play for a couple of years, they’ll still have McDermott and Cutting can join them after his service is up. It shouldn’t be too hard for a long snapper to maintain his skills while he isn’t playing football.

  8. Anytime somebody says; “I had to do it, so should he”, I dismiss whatever your opinion is. Too bad you didn’t have other opportunities. Some people do.

  9. Ok maybe I’m bias as McDermott is my 2nd cousin, but the guy lost the tip of his finger during the Niner’s game and played the rest of the game. What more do you need to do for a little appreciation?

  10. The special teams have been awful the last couple of years. He has a lot to do with it. Sadly.
    He gives his heart, soul & finger tip to the team but their punting/kicking game is bad and the snapper & his abilities to block & not block especially up the middle have everything to do with that.

    sodavike says:
    May 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm
    Ok maybe I’m bias as McDermott is my 2nd cousin, but the guy lost the tip of his finger during the Niner’s game and played the rest of the game. What more do you need to do for a little appreciation?

  11. sodavike says:
    May 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm
    Ok maybe I’m bias as McDermott is my 2nd cousin, but the guy lost the tip of his finger during the Niner’s game and played the rest of the game. What more do you need to do for a little appreciation?
    ——-
    You do realize that was actually the Rams game that this occurred right?

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