For most Patriots, the offseason has been a chance to relax.
But long snapper Joe Cardona reported to the Navy soon after the season-ending loss to the Denver Broncos in January.
Cardona had been drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round last year out of the Naval Academy. He was granted a one-year deferment from his service commitment and was able to work one day per week at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., while playing for the Patriots.
However, it doesn’t appear he’ll have a similar arrangement for the 2016 season.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday to discuss former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens last week. Mabus brought up Cardona when talking about the process of Reynolds being able to play in the NFL.
“Right now we do have a process,” said Mabus. “And it hasn’t got up to me yet to do it. But there are a lot of paths to play and to serve.
“We’ve got Joe Cardona, long snapper for the Patriots. He played last year for the Patriots while he was on active duty because he was able to work them both out. He’s been assigned to a ship and he’s going to report to that ship, so he may have to leave the Patriots for the year to go fulfill that role.”
Last year, on Veterans Day, Cardona spoke about juggling two jobs.
“It’s just showing up and doing your job every single day,” he said. “I think the preparation that the Naval Academy has given me has prepared me really well to take on the responsibilities on both ends.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick seemed to be happy with the arrangement.
“He’s here when he can be here, and when he’s not here, we know where he is,” Belichick said last November. “I think he’s done a good job of managing his time and working as hard as he can on the things he needs to improve on.
“It’s a big jump from what he did last year to what he’s doing this year and the precision, the execution, and the timing and so forth. If he continues to work hard and continues to work on the things that he needs to work on, I think he’s got a real good future.”