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Patriots 90-Man Roster Spotlight: Long Snapper Joe Cardona



New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona (49) runs on the field before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

The New England Patriots can have up to 90 players under contract during the offseason. Patriots Football Now will profile all 90 of these players (though there are currently only 88 on the roster) over the upcoming months. Today’s profile is on long snapper Joe Cardona.

Joe Cardona

The New England Patriots selected Cardona in the fifth round (No. 166 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Cardona played his college ball for the Navy Midshipmen. He was a four-year starter as the team’s long snapper. Cardona was never credited with a bad snap during his college career.

Joe Cardona replaced Danny Aiken as New England’s long snapper in 2015. He played 127 consecutive games to begin his NFL career, with 13 additional games in the postseason. Cardona ended his 2022 season on injured reserve after injuring his foot. He missed the team’s final three games, bringing his Iron Man streak to an end. He played all 17 games once again in 2023.

Cardona played on two Super Bowl champions for New England (2016, 2018). Although he has never been selected for the Pro Bowl, he has been a steady performer for the Patriots. Last season was the first year there were noticeably some issues with his performance, particularly at the beginning of the year.

Also Read: New England Hired Jeremy Springer as Special Teams Coordinator

Pro Football Focus gave Joe Cardona a grade of 31.9 for his 2023 performance. It was the lowest grade of his career since his rookie season. Cardona’s highest grade (77.0) came in 2016. His grade has gone down each of the past four seasons.

Contract Status

Joe Cardona still has three years remaining on his contract with the Patriots. He is set to make nearly $4.8 million over that time. However, only $435,000 of that deal is guaranteed.

Long Snapper Competition

There is no competition in New England for Cardona at the moment. Last year he handled all of the long snap duties in preseason. It is unclear what the backup plan for the Patriots would be there.

Outlook for Joe Cardona

Cardona is the only long snapper on the Patriots roster. He is also the longest-tenured New England draft pick. As a result, his job appears safe heading into 2024 barring something unforeseen.

Following Matthew Slater’s retirement, Cardona appears a good bet to become the team’s special teams captain in 2024. Not only has Cardona been steady on the field, he has been an excellent representative of the team in the community. In 2023, Joe Cardona won the NFL Salute to Service Award.

Joe Cardona is entering his tenth NFL season. The 32-year-old needs to prove he can still perform at a high and consistent level. While a long snapper might not get much attention, their mistakes certainly do. New England Patriots fans not hearing much about their long snapper is good news. The “Do Your Job” slogan was taken off the walls in Foxboro, but it still applies to Cardona. He quietly goes about his business and gets his job done. The Patriots are hoping that will continue this fall.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports,, and many other outlets.

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