Joe Cardona
refer to caption
Cardona with the Patriots in 2019
No. 49 – New England Patriots
Position:Long snapper
Personal information
Born: (1992-04-16) April 16, 1992 (age 32)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:246 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Granite Hills
(El Cajon, California)
College:Navy (2011–2014)
NFL draft:2015 / Round: 5 / Pick: 166
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Games played:144
Total tackles:16
Player stats at PFR

Joseph Cardona (/kɑːrˈdnə/ kar-DOH-nuh;[1] born April 16, 1992) is an American professional football player who is a long snapper for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Cardona is also an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve[2] holding the rank of Lieutenant.[3]

Cardona was drafted in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft.[4] 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.[5] With the Patriots, he won Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII.

Early life

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.[6]

College career

After high school, Cardona attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, for one year before enrolling in the Naval Academy, where he majored in economics.[6] At Navy, he was a four-year starter in football as a long snapper, where he was not charged with a single bad snap.[7] 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.[8]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split Vertical jump Bench press
6 ft 1+58 in
(1.87 m)
242 lb
(110 kg)
31+12 in
(0.80 m)
9+58 in
(0.24 m)
4.91 s 1.70 s 2.85 s 33.0 in
(0.84 m)
30 reps
All values from NFL Combine[9][10]

On May 2, 2015, the New England Patriots selected Cardona in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft,[11] making him the fourth pure long snapper to be drafted in NFL history (and the second drafted by the Patriots, after Jake Ingram).[5] His Naval assignment was delayed until after the 2015 NFL season so that he would be able to play in the NFL.[12] The Patriots officially signed Cardona to his rookie contract on June 4, 2015.[13] 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.[14]

On Thursday, September 10, in the NFL's opening game of the 2015 season, Cardona made his official debut as a long snapper in the Patriots' 28–21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17][18] Cardona had an active role in the game on seven special teams plays.[19]

In 2017 Cardona 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.

On June 14, 2018, Cardona signed a four-year contract extension with the Patriots.[20] The Patriots reached Super Bowl LIII where they beat the Los Angeles Rams 13–3.[21]

On December 20, 2022, it was announced that Cardona would miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn tendon in his foot. He had suffered a partial tear in Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals, and further injured it in Week 15 against the Las Vegas Raiders.[22] The injury additionally broke a streak of 140 consecutive games (127 regular–season games) started by Cardona since he was drafted in 2015.[23]

On March 21, 2023, Cardona re-signed with the Patriots on another four-year contract extension worth $6.3 million, making him the highest-paid long snapper.[24]

On February 7, 2024, Cardona was announced as the recipient of the 13th Annual Salute to Service Award.[25]

Military career

Joe Cardona
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service2015–present

During his rookie season, Cardona spent his off days working a 24-hour shift as Command Duty Officer at the Naval Academy Preparatory School.[26]

On June 7, 2019, Cardona was promoted to lieutenant in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium.[27]

As an active member of the Navy Reserve, Cardona currently serves as department head of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron Eight, based at Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island. In this role, Cardona oversees the logistical needs of 500 sailors across the Eastern Seaboard.[28]


  1. ^ "Pronunciation: Joe Cardona". Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  2. ^ Reiss, Mike (July 21, 2016). "After transition to reserves, Navy's Joe Cardona to be at Patriots camp". Archived from the original on November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Yates, Field (June 6, 2019). "Patriots' Cardona promoted to lieutenant in Navy". ESPN. Archived from the original on June 6, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Kyed, Doug (May 2, 2015). "Patriots Draft Navy Long Snapper Joe Cardona 166th Overall In Fifth Round". New England Sports Network. Archived from the original on April 27, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Gehlken, Michael. "Local Joe becomes top NFL prospect".
  6. ^ a b "NAVYSPORTS.COM – The Official Web Site of Naval Academy Varsity Athletics – Joe Cardona Bio". Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  7. ^ Gazette, Capital. "Special situation for Navy". Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine [bare URL PDF]
  9. ^ "Joe Cardona Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "2015 NFL Draft Scout Joe Cardona College Football Profile". Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  11. ^ "2015 NFL Draft Listing". Archived from the original on October 22, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  12. ^ "ASN: Navy's Joseph Greenspan Cleared to Play for Rapids". Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "Patriots sign fifth-round draft pick LS Joe Cardona". June 4, 2015. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Inside look at New England Patriots rookie Joe Cardona's contract – New England Patriots Blog – ESPN". June 9, 2015. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Perry's Report Card: Solid start to season for Patriots". September 15, 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Perry, Phil (May 13, 2016). "Report: Navy approves Cardona's request to play for Patriots in 2016". Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "Joe Cardona Stats -". Archived from the original on January 19, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  18. ^ Wesseling, Chris. "New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI". NFL. Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  19. ^ "Super Bowl LI – National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). National Football League. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Alper, Josh (June 14, 2018). "Joe Cardona gets four-year extension with Patriots". Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  21. ^ Shpigel, Ben (February 4, 2019). "Patriots Win in Lowest-Scoring Super Bowl Ever". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  22. ^ "Report: Joe Cardona will miss the rest of the season with a torn foot tendon". Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  23. ^ "Season-ending injury claims Joe Cardona and his incredible NFL streak". Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  24. ^ New England Patriots (March 21, 2023). "Patriots Re-Sign LS Joe Cardona and DB Cody Davis". Archived from the original on March 22, 2023. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  25. ^ "NFL and USAA Announce New England Patriots Long Snapper Joe Cardona as Recipient of 13th Annual Salute to Service Award". Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  26. ^ "The Double Life of Patriots Long Snapper Joe Cardona". October 27, 2015. Archived from the original on April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  27. ^ "Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona gets promoted to Navy Lieutenant in front of teammates at Gillette Stadium". June 6, 2019. Archived from the original on April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  28. ^ Reiss, Mike (February 7, 2024). "Pats' Cardona receives Salute to Service award". Retrieved February 7, 2024.