Vikings rookie long-snapper allowed to play in NFL while honoring Air Force commitment

Jack BaerWriter
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/32082/" data-ylk="slk:Austin Cutting">Austin Cutting</a> will get to play in the NFL after all. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Austin Cutting will get to play in the NFL after all. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

If he makes it on the roster of the Minnesota Vikings or any other NFL team, rookie long-snapper Austin Cutting is going to have a busy life over the next two years.

The Air Force Academy graduate will be allowed to play in the NFL while serving his required two-year military commitment by working as a recruiter in Minnesota, according to the Pioneer Press.

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The Vikings drafted Cutting in the seventh round (250th overall) of the 2019 NFL draft. He was the only long-snapper taken in the entire draft. Now cleared to join the Vikings, he’ll reportedly sign a four-year, $2.59 million contract with a $74,576 signing bonus and begin Vikings training camp on Tuesday.

While beginning his Vikings career, Cutting’s official title is reportedly “first-year recruiting lieutenant.” According to his agent Darren Deloatche, he’ll be officially stationed with the Air Force Academy in Colorado, but he will be assigned to Minnesota or whatever city he ends up playing in:

“They are going to utilize him as a recruiting officer,’’ Deloatche said. “(Cutting is) thankful. It’s a weight off his shoulders at this stage. … He’s definitely excited about this opportunity to compete in the NFL right now. … But he wants to serve his country.”

President Trump helped clear path to NFL from service academies

Cutting’s clearance comes after President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that the Pentagon develop a new policy allowing service academy graduates to be able to delay their military obligations to pursue professional sports careers.

Deloatch told the Pioneer Press that he believed his client would have been cleared without Trump’s help, but it did “expedite” the process:

“All the parties are benefiting by this,” Deloatche said. “Austin is getting this opportunity right here, right now in the NFL. The Vikings are benefiting because they’ve got a legitimate long-snapping battle in camp with two talented individuals. And all branches of the military are benefiting because student-athletes are going to see that, with the impending new regulation that is going to eventually be established by the Department of Defense, if they have the talent to play professionally, they will get that opportunity when they first come out of school.”

With the Naval Academy already a part of the AAC and West Point a possibility to replace UConn in the conference, there could very well be more on the way.

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