Normally, NFL teams do not invest draft picks in long snappers. The New England Patriots, however, are not your normal NFL team, which is why seeing them select Naval Academy long snapper Joe Cardona in the fifth round of the 2015 draft did not come as a surprise.
Cardona has been serviceable ever since entering the NFL – both as a long snapper for New England and as a member of the United States Navy. The 24-year old works for the Patriots, for whom he has appeared in every game since getting drafted, and as a staff officer at the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island.
Given Cardona’s commitment to both football and the Navy, it is only logical to see the Patriots make him their "Salute to Service Award presented by USAA" nominee 2016. After all, the award, which is handed out annually since 2011, honors NFL members, who demonstrate "exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community".
Finalists will be announced in January, while the actual award will be given out as part of the "NFL Honors" on February 4th.