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.