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Joseph Cardona (born April 16, 1992) is an American football long snapper for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Cardona is also an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve[1] holding the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.[2]

Joe Cardona
refer to caption
Cardona with the Patriots in 2015
No. 49 – New England Patriots
Position:Long snapper
Personal information
Born: (1992-04-16) April 16, 1992 (age 27)
San Diego, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Granite Hills
(El Cajon, California)
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 5 / Pick: 166
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Games played:64
Total tackles:3
Player stats at

Cardona was drafted in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft.[3] He played college football for Navy. He is only the fourth player designated as a long snapper ever to be drafted, and the second highest-drafted long snapper in NFL history, after Ryan Pontbriand.[4] He was the snapper for the 2016-17 Patriots in their Super Bowl LI win over the Atlanta Falcons and the 2018-19 Patriots in their Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams.


Early lifeEdit

Cardona grew up in El Cajon, California, the son of Patrick and Margaret Cardona, and is of Mexican heritage. Joe has two older siblings Arthur and Adrienne Hernandez, and one younger sister Sophia Cardona. He attended Granite Hills High School, lettering two years in football and four years in lacrosse, earning conference lacrosse MVP as a senior. He graduated in 2010. [5]

College careerEdit

After high school, Cardona attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School for one year before enrolling in the Naval Academy, where he majored in economics.[5] At Navy, he was a four-year starter in football as a long snapper, where he was not charged with a single bad snap.[6] During his four years at Navy, the Midshipmen compiled a 30–21 record, including four wins over arch-rival Army, and played in three bowl games.[7]

Professional careerEdit

2015 seasonEdit

On May 2, 2015, the New England Patriots selected Cardona in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft, making him the fourth pure long snapper to be drafted in NFL history (and the second drafted by the Patriots, after Jake Ingram).[4] His Naval assignment was delayed until after the 2015 NFL season so that he would be able to play in the NFL.[8] The Patriots officially signed Cardona to his rookie contract on June 4, 2015.[9] The structure of his contract is unusual, reflecting the uncertainty of his availability in future seasons. The signing bonus of $100,000 is less than the expected bonus of about $190,000 expected for his draft slot, but he can earn $100,000 in roster bonuses if he is on the 53-man roster or an injury list at any point in 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons.[10]

On Thursday night, September 10 in the league's opening game of the 2015 season, Cardona made his official NFL debut as long snapper in the Patriots' 28–21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.[11]

2016 seasonEdit

On May 13, 2016, United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus approved Cardona's request (and the request of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Keenan Reynolds) to play in the NFL for the 2016 season.[12]

For the second consecutive season, Cardona played in all 16 games for the Patriots. He was part of both Patriots' playoff wins, and went on to play in Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017. He was a contributor to the Patriots as they defeated the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34–28 in overtime.[13][14] Cardona had an active role in the game on seven special teams plays.[15]

2017 seasonEdit

For the third consecutive season, Cardona played in all 16 games for the Patriots. He was part of both Patriots' playoff wins, and went on to play in Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018. The Patriots failed to repeat as Super Bowl Champions after losing 41–33 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

2018 seasonEdit

On June 14, 2018, Cardona signed a four-year contract extension with the Patriots.[16] The Patriots reached Super Bowl LIII where they beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.


  1. ^ Reiss, Mike (July 21, 2016). "After transition to reserves, Navy's Joe Cardona to be at Patriots camp".
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kyed, Doug (May 2, 2015). "Patriots Draft Navy Long Snapper Joe Cardona 166th Overall In Fifth Round". New England Sports Network. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Gehlken, Michael. "Local Joe becomes top NFL prospect".
  5. ^ a b "NAVYSPORTS.COM - The Official Web Site of Naval Academy Varsity Athletics - Joe Cardona Bio".
  6. ^ Gazette, Capital. "Special situation for Navy". Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "ASN: Navy's Joseph Greenspan Cleared to Play for Rapids".
  9. ^ "Patriots sign fifth-round draft pick LS Joe Cardona". June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Inside look at New England Patriots rookie Joe Cardona's contract - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN". Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  11. ^ "Perry's Report Card: Solid start to season for Patriots". September 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Perry, Phil (May 13, 2016). "Report: Navy approves Cardona's request to play for Patriots in 2016". Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "Joe Cardona Stats -".
  14. ^ Wesseling, Chris. "New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI". NFL. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  15. ^ "Super Bowl LI - National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). National Football League. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  16. ^ Alper, Josh (June 14, 2018). "Joe Cardona gets four-year extension with Patriots".