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 holding the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.
Cardona with the Patriots in 2015
|No. 49 – New England Patriots|
|Born:||April 16, 1992|
San Diego, California
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school:||Granite Hills|
(El Cajon, California)
|NFL Draft:||2015 / Round: 5 / Pick: 166|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
Cardona was drafted in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft. 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. 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.
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. 
After high school, Cardona attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School for one year before enrolling in the Naval Academy, where he majored in economics. At Navy, he was a four-year starter in football as a long snapper, where he was not charged with a single bad snap. 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.
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). His Naval assignment was delayed until after the 2015 NFL season so that he would be able to play in the NFL. The Patriots officially signed Cardona to his rookie contract on June 4, 2015. 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.
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.
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.
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. Cardona had an active role in the game on seven special teams plays.
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.
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- Gehlken, Michael. "Local Joe becomes top NFL prospect".
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- "Inside look at New England Patriots rookie Joe Cardona's contract - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN". Retrieved June 10, 2015.
- "Perry's Report Card: Solid start to season for Patriots". September 15, 2015.
- Perry, Phil (May 13, 2016). "Report: Navy approves Cardona's request to play for Patriots in 2016". CSNNE.com. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
- "Joe Cardona Stats - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- Wesseling, Chris. "New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI". NFL. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- "Super Bowl LI - National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). National Football League. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Alper, Josh (June 14, 2018). "Joe Cardona gets four-year extension with Patriots". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com.