The New England Patriots officially began their offseason Sunday, but Joe Cardona is going right back to work.
The Patriots cleaned out their lockers Monday after their 20-18 AFC Championship Game loss to the Denver Broncos, and for the long snapper, it also represented his transition back to full-time Navy duties. After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Cardona split his season between the NFL and the Navy.
“This year was great, being on the field,” Cardona told reporters Monday, according to The Boston Globe. “I obviously have a higher priority than being here. It’s different. It’s important to me that I’m doing my job on both ends the best I can.”
The Navy allowed Cardona to work one day per week at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., while he played for the Patriots, and that also appears to be the plan for 2016. For now, he’ll go to Norfolk, Virginia, for more training before reporting to his station in Bath, Maine, on the USS Zumwalt.
“I have a lot of support at high levels,” Cardona added, per the Globe. “So just like this year, working a schedule that everything comes together, I’ll be able to make my requirements for each.
“There’s a lot of specifics to work out. Things can always change.”
But Cardona isn’t too worried, as he made it work the first time around.
“It’s just navigating the waters on both ends,” Cardona said. “No pun intended.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Patriots
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