One of the couple dozen recent draft picks who has yet to sign his rookie deal is Austin Cutting. Cutting, the 250th overall pick of the Vikings, is the only seventh-round pick who hasn’t signed. Cutting is a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy, which is what has been holding things up. Once President Trump took office, his administration overturned an Obama-era rule that permitted recent graduates from pursuing careers as professional athletes before fulfilling their service. Now, the Trump administration has changed its mind, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.
The administration has issued a presidential memorandum that “will essentially reinstate the protocol” Obama established in 2016, per Jhabvala. The rule under Obama was overturned so quickly that it barely had time to take effect. Coaches at the various academies have long argued that it’ll help with recruiting if their athletes can go pro. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said that Cutting will “absolutely” be allowed to play for the Vikings now. It’ll be interesting to see what effect this new policy has on the programs of Navy, Army, and the Air Force moving forward.
Here’s more from around the football universe:
- Another day, more drama surrounding the collapse of the Alliance of American Football. Since its demise, it’s become clearer and clearer that the ill-fated spring football league was doomed from the start. We’ve heard varying tales of incompetence and mismanagement, and now we have further fireworks. Charlie Ebersol, one of the league’s founders, is firing back at players who filed a class-action lawsuit against him and other founders, saying it was the players who committed fraud, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. It’s a bold strategy by Ebersol, who is arguing that players should be “barred from claiming any injuries or damages because such injuries and damages are the sole, direct and proximate result of Plaintiffs’ conduct.” We’ll keep you updated as the lawsuit progresses.
- The Bengals were dealt a tough blow last week when it was announced Jonah Williams would likely miss the entire 2019 season due to shoulder surgery. Cincinnati was counting on the 11th overall pick to be their starting left tackle, and they’ll now have to slide Cordy Glenn over from left guard in his place. That also means they’ll have to find someone to replace Glenn at left guard. For right now Christian Westerman “appears to be option one” for the role, although there will be a camp battle for starting duties, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic hears. Westerman is a 2016 fifth-round pick who has played sparingly in his three years in the league. He’s only made two starts in his career, both of which came in 2017. It’s not an ideal situation, but Cincy’s offensive line can’t be any worse than it was last year.