Keenan Reynolds has received the approval he’s been waiting for. Now, the t’s just need to be crossed and the i’s dotted.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus submitted a request for Reynolds to play full-time in the NFL this season and beyond. The request was submitted to the Secretary of Defense for final approval, and Mabus “strongly recommended” it be granted.
The request states that Midshipman Reynolds, the Ravens’ sixth-round wide receiver/returner, would "satisfy [his] remaining commissioned service obligation" in the Navy Ready Reserve. As such, Reynolds would never be required to go into active duty.
According to “The Dan Patrick Show,” which first broke the news, Mabus called Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti and Head Coach John Harbaugh from Nepal to inform them of his decision.
The Navy mandates that graduates immediately serve five years of active duty after graduation, but certain accommodations or exceptions can be made depending on a midshipman’s career.
Not only was Reynolds a record-breaking quarterback at Navy, but he was also held in extremely high regard for his character off the field. And that’s something Mabus wants Reynolds to have the opportunity to display on the NFL’s grand stage.
"Approval of these requests will provide the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of the Navy (DON) significant favorable exposure, enhance national recruiting, and serve as a positive ongoing contribution to DoD public affairs efforts," Mabus said in a memo accompanying the request.
The Navy Reserve’s mission statement is “to provide strategic depth and deliver operational capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps team and Joint forces, in times of peace or war.”
Details of what Reynolds will specifically do in the Reserves is unknown at this time.
Mabus also said that he submitted the same request for second-year Patriots long snapper and Navy Ens. Joe Cardona.
"Commissioning and appointment in the Ready Reserve is the best option for Midshipman Reynolds and Ens. Cardona due to the time and commitment required for the unique opportunity of playing in the National Football League,” Mabus wrote.