It is a good offseason to be Joe Cardona. Not only did the New England Patriots’ long snapper sign a four-year, $4.31 million contract extension in June, he also received the team’s Ron Burton Community Service Award yesterday: during the organization’s annual season premiere on the Gillette Stadium field, Cardona was presented with the award honoring his involvement and work with the local community.
“Joe is a Patriot in the highest sense of the word, on and off the field,” team owner Robert Kraft said during the event. “Service to others is of principal importance to him, first to our country, as well as to our team and to our community. This past offseason, Joe went on a two-week training session to South Korea with the United States Navy Reserves. He serves his country and his team honorably and still manages to contribute by volunteering to serve and support many of our team’s community initiatives.”
As Kraft noted, Cardona is an active service member as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy. During the Patriots’ offseason and once a week when the season is underway, the 26-year old works for the Navy – all while also being a part of New England’s practice and workout routines. The double duty does not handicap him in any way: Cardona appeared in all 56 games since getting drafted in the fifth-round in 2015 and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LI along the way.
Cardona is the 16th player to receive the award, named after former Patriots running back Ron Burton. He joins a group consisting of Jordan Richards (2017), Rob Gronkowski (2016), Nate Solder (2015), Devin McCourty (2014), Matthew Slater (2013), Zoltan Mesko (2012), Jerod Mayo (2011), Vince Wilfork (2010), Kevin Faulk (2009), Larry Izzo (2008), Ty Warren (2007), Jarvis Green (2006), Matt Light (2005), Troy Brown (2004) and Joe Andruzzi (2003).