NFL teams spend a good amount of time worrying about what their players are doing with their time away from football. However, when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings, they’ll know exactly where their potential future long-snapper will be when he’s not on the football field: He’ll be working for “Uncle Sam.”
Austin Cutting, a 7th round draft pick out of the Air Force Academy, will serve a mandatory two-year military commitment while playing in the NFL, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
The Air Force plans to use Cutting in a recruitment role.
“All the parties are benefiting by this,” Cutting’s agent, Darren Deloatche told the Pioneer Press. “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 … if they have the talent to play professionally, they will get that opportunity when they first come out of school.”
The terms of Cutting’s contract with Minnesota are 4-years for $2.59 million. Though, as a 7th round pick, his spot on the Vikings roster is far from certain. Nonetheless, the terms of Cutting’s military requirement would remain the same whether he plays in Minnesota, or somewhere else.
In late June, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to come up with a plan which would allow service academy grads to defer their military service requirements in order to pursue their sports careers. Although that plan doesn’t take effect until October, Deloatache told the Pioneer Press that he believes the change in policy and attitude positively impacted his client’s ability to play football while serving.
“Vikings rookies and select other players will report Monday for training camp in advance of a Tuesday practice. All other players will report Thursday, with the first full-squad workout on Friday,” the Pioneer Press reports.
Cutting will compete with incumbent Kevin McDermott to be the Vikings long-snapper.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn