American patriot Tyree Barnes saw his career as a New England Patriot come to an end Monday morning. He's hoping for another opportunity to show off his talent in the NFL, but if he doesn't get that chance, he'll explore his options with the Navy.
"If other opportunities arise [in the NFL], I'll be quick to jump on those, or whether it's me going back and serving my time [in the Navy], I'll do that as well," Barnes said. "Right now, I don't really know where I'll be heading or what I'll have to do or be asked to do. I just know whatever comes up, I'll be ready to jump in it."
The wide receiver signed a contract with the Patriots two years ago and was placed on the reserve/military list until he completed his 24 months of active duty in the Navy. He finished this summer and reported on time for training camp in July.
After getting released Monday, Barnes began the long drive home to Hampton, Va. He hoped to hear from another team, but if he doesn't, he'll have to see if the Navy has any specific plans for him.
Barnes, who was promoted in May to lieutenant junior grade, served in the Navy as an electronics warfare officer and dealt with counter-missile activity. His most recent tour was off the coast of Somalia where his ship, the USS Gonzalez (DDG-66), tried to neutralize modern-day pirates.
After completing his active duty, Barnes began six years of select-reserve service. He had to write a long endorsement that detailed how he would benefit the Navy through public affairs (a.k.a.: as an NFL player) to attain that status, so it could potentially change if he doesn't get an opportunity with another team.
Barnes appreciated his time with the Patriots and knew he made strides over the last month. Obviously, he hoped for more time to prove his talent, but he also understood that the team has a lot of high-quality wide receivers at the top of the depth chart.
"Pretty much, all I could do was control what I could control, and I think I took full advantage of that," Barnes said. "From that standpoint, I did what they asked me to do while I was there. I did what I could do, what I was able to do. It's tough that it comes to an end, but at the same time, life moves on. I realize that. It was a humbling experience, and I realize that. I had the opportunity to play. I just know that I'll move on, whether it's the Navy or there are more [NFL] opportunities in my future. Either way, I know that I'll be fine, and I have a good support system behind me."