Army linebacker Andre Carter II just wrapped up a successful playing career in West Point, NY, and is being touted as a potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. A new congressional bill could alter those plans entirely.
Both chambers of Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2023 and as Leo Shane III and Jonathan Lehrfeld have reported, Section 553 of the bill contains language that prevents cadets from pursuing a career as a professional athlete without completing the active service requirement immediately following graduation. Since 2019, athletes like Carter have had an ability to apply for a waiver that would delay the service requirement so they could go pro, but the new bill would now constitute this as “a breach of agreement to serve as an officer.” The bill is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden and go into effect as early as next week.
Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin introduced the amendment to the bill and told ESPN’s Pete Thamel earlier in the week that he’d work on a legislative fix to grandfather current service academy athletes into the current system before the new system takes place. That fix would allow for Carter to pursue the NFL Draft in the spring should his waiver be approved.
Carter excelled for the Black Knights and earned third-team All American honors in 2021. He is trying to become just Army player to be drafted into the NFL since 1969.