Joe Cardona

AFC Notes: Browns, Jets, Bridgewater, Cardona

The Browns backfield is loaded with talent, including veteran Carlos Hyde, pass-catcher Duke Johnson, and second-rounder Nick Chubb. While Hyde is expected to sit atop the depth chart at the beginning of the preseason, running backs coach Freddie Kitchens said his team will ultimately be “riding the hot hand” next season.

“Ultimately, all three of those guys can run our running game,” Kitchens told Andrew Gribble of ClevelandBrowns.com. “Duke can do a few more things in the passing game. Ultimately, we feel like that is a position of strength. Coach (Bill) Parcells taught me a long time ago, do not turn a position of strength into a weakness. You would like to keep it a strength, and we are fortunate that is where we are.”

Despite Hyde getting early-down looks and Johnson playing a major role in the passing game, Kitchens still believes that his rookie back will end up being an x-factor for Cleveland.

“He has a great work ethic. He is physical in everything that he does,” Kitchens said “He will take a handoff, and the handoff is violent. I think that is a very unique perspective from a running back standpoint that everything he does is violent. I think that he brings that to the table.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Last preseason, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan traded Sheldon Richardson, satisfying the team’s needs for receiver depth (he added wideout Jermaine Kearse) and future trade assets (2018 second-rounder) along the way. Could he make another deal this year? ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini believes there’s a possibility. The team has a need at pass rusher, and the writer points to Broncos linebacker Shane Ray and Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler as potential targets. Cimini also believes quarterback Teddy Bridgewater could end up being trade bait, but it’d require rookie Sam Darnold winning the backup gig.
  • Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona recently inked a four-year, $1MM (with $850K in bonuses), and ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss takes a look at some of the more lucrative long snapper deals around the NFL. Rams long snapper Jake McQuaide is the highest earner at the position, collecting $1.175MM each season. Meanwhile, Cardona’s $1MM in guarantees only rivals the deal signed by Jaguars back Carson Tinker.
  • Yesterday, the Patriots signed their top draft pick, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn. Following the deal, first-round running back Sony Michel is the team’s only unsigned draft pick.

Patriots Extend LS Joe Cardona

After signing fullback James Develin to a new deal, the Patriots have handed out their second extension of the day. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports (via Twitter) that the organization has signed long snapper Joe Cardona to a four-year extension. The 26-year-old was entering the final year of his contract.

After serving as Navy’s starting long snapper for four straight years, the Patriots selected Cardona in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, making him only the fourth player at his position to ever be drafted. After having his Naval assignment delayed so he could play his rookie season, New England signed the player to an unorthodox contract. The organization ended up nixing $100K of his signing bonus in favor of roster bonuses.

The long snapper ultimately earned all of that money, as he hasn’t missed a game during his three years in the league. The special teamer has also managed to compile six tackles throughout his career. Cardona has continually had to request permission to play in the NFL, which he’s been granted for each of his three seasons.

Earlier today, the Patriots inked Develin to a two-year extension worth $3.8MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: F. Jackson, Bills, Jets, Pats

Here’s a look at the AFC East:

  • Given their issues in the backfield, could the Bills welcome Fred Jackson back to Buffalo? Starting safety Aaron Williams took to Twitter on Thursday to voice his support for such a move, as Joe Buscaglia of WKBW writes. A report in February indicated that the 35-year-old hopes to continue playing in 2016. Jackson spent the 2015 season with the Seahawks and appeared in all 16 regular season games. In total, he had 26 carries for 100 yards and 32 receptions for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jackson was used sparingly in Seattle, resulting in the lowest output of his nine-year career. We haven’t heard much in the way of NFL interest for Jackson this offseason.
  • As the Jets get ready for training camp, there are three veterans in particular who will be fighting for their spots on the 53-man roster, Dom Consentino of NJ.com writes. That list includes kicker Nick Folk, who is being pushed by rising sophomore Ross Martin after missing the second half of last season with a quad injury. Running back Zac Stacy is also fighting for a job after rushing only 31 times in eight games last year. As shown on Roster Resource, Stacy could be the odd man out with Matt Forte, Khiry Robinson, and Bilal Powell being retained. The Jets are also keeping an eye on UDFA running back Romar Morris.
  • Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, a Naval Academy product, was informed that his transition to the reserves is complete, meaning that he will be able to join his team at the start of training camp, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter). On Thursday, the Pats released long snapper Christian Yount, an indication that Cardona would be available for the 2016 season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/21/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Steelers have waived linebacker Tyriq McCord from the Reserved/Injured list, tweets Mike Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The undrafted defender out of Miami originally hit his leg at rookie minicamp, and he suffered another injury during OTAs.
  • The Patriots have released rookie linebacker C.J. Johnson and long-snapper Christian Yount, tweets NESN.com’s Doug Kyed. ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss says the Yount move is an indication that Joe Cardona (Navy) will be available next season.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Steelers have released veteran tight end Matt Spaeth, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). In March, Pittsburgh signed Spaeth to a two-year deal. The 31-year-old appeared in 15 regular-season games in 2014 (eight starts) and caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, and also started the Steelers’ playoff game against Baltimore. Spaeth was cut with a failed physical designation, as James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. GM Kevin Colbert says that Spaeth was never able to recover from offseason knee surgery.
  • The Lions announced that they have signed free agent tackle Luke Marquardt. Contract terms were not disclosed. A native of Sammamish, Wash., the 6’6″ lineman joins Detroit after signing with the Jets earlier this season. He began his NFL career with the 49ers in 2013 as an UDFA out of Azusa Pacific.

East Notes: Hardy, Dolphins, Cardona, Jets

As we heard on Thursday, agent Drew Rosenhaus continues to lobby on behalf of his client Greg Hardy, who is still seeking an NFL job. Despite Rosenhaus’ insistence that the former Cowboys defensive end is working to correct his pattern of bad behavior, teams around the NFL remain skeptical, according to Ed Werder of ESPN.com, who tweets that the “prevailing opinion” among general managers is that nobody wants Hardy.

Quoting multiple general managers, Werder reports that one GM said ownership would have to be involved on any Hardy deal, and most owners would steer clear (Twitter link). Another GM said Hardy would be a “very hard sell,” while another called the veteran pass rusher “toxic.” That last GM added: “[He’s] obviously desperate and saying the right things” (Twitter links).

As we wait to see if Rosenhaus’ sales pitch lands Hardy a job anywhere, let’s round up a few more notes from around the NFL’s East divisions…

  • While defensive coordinator Vance Joseph insists the Dolphins are good to go at cornerback, the team has internally discussed adding another veteran, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who suggests that Leon Hall and Antonio Cromartie are among the possibilities. Both Jackson and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald took a closer look at the cornerback situation in Miami, exploring whether or not another free agency addition seems likely.
  • Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, who played his college ball at Navy, is expected to continue his NFL career in 2016. Paul Pabst of the Dan Patrick Show tweeted today that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that Cardona’s request to continue playing in the NFL has been approved. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter links) cautions that one more “layer of approval” is still required — it’s looking good for Cardona, but it’s not official yet, says Reiss.
  • Brian Costello of the New York Post identifies five boom-or-bust players who will have a significant impact on the Jets‘ fortunes in 2016, including newly-signed running back Matt Forte.

AFC Rumors: Slauson, Chargers, Bills, V. Miller

All along, Matt Slauson has planned on visiting both the Chargers and the Bills and he will not rush his decision, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets. After wrapping up his visit with San Diego on Wednesday, the center/guard is now meeting with team brass in Buffalo. Slauson doesn’t have a deal with the Bolts yet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything one way or the other.

Here’s more out of the AFC:

  • Contract talks are at a standstill between Von Miller and the Broncos, but the Super Bowl MVP says that he doesn’t plan on going anywhere. “I’m going to be here in Denver no matter what,” Miller said, as Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post writes. “The contract is going to take care of itself. I’m going to be a Denver Bronco for life.” Miller, who was hit with the franchise tag, is not expected to take part in team workouts this week.
  • Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona “may have to leave the Patriots for a year or so,” a Navy official told The Dan Patrick Show (transcript via ESPN.com). The second-year player has been assigned to a ship, which prompted New England to sign free agent long snapper Christian Yount.
  • Chiefs rookie return specialist Tyreek Hill will not be subject to NFL discipline upon entering the league but could be considered a repeat offender under its conduct policy if he is involved in another incident of domestic violence, as Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star writes. The fifth-round choice out of West Alabama pleaded guilty in August 2015 to a domestic abuse incident involving his pregnant girlfriend. The policy only applies when the player’s first infraction occurs while the player is in the NFL. However, the league will not hesitate to hit Hill with advanced punishment if another incident takes place.

AFC East Notes: Mosley, Vollmer, Vick

The Dolphins‘ late addition of C.J. Mosley, on a strong recommendation from their slightly higher-profile ex-Lions defensive line newcomer, came as a result of concerns about the depth toward the bottom of their depth chart, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Mosley, who will make just more than $1MM in what will be his 11th season, is a more reliable piece than what the team currently has behind Ndamukong Suh — unproven performers in A.J. Francis and Anthony Johnson — but it shouldn’t be viewed as an indictment on second-rounder Jordan Phillips‘ progress, writes Jackson.

Here are some more Sunday-morning news items from Miami and the rest of the AFC East.

  • Back under the guidance of a more enthusiastic coach in Mike Zimmer, Mike Wallace either strongly prefers this personality trait compared to the lower-key Joe Philbin or is trying to please his new employer. “Honestly, [Zimmer]’s more of my type of guy — fired up. It’s cool when you do things and just do them. But when you do them and have some fire with it, it’s a lot more fun,” Wallace is quoted in Jackson’s notes piece. “I think it’s more of an environment for me, coming from [Steelers] coach [Mike] Tomlin being fired up and going to Coach Philbin, who was a lot more reserved, then coming back to another coach who’s fired up. I love it.”
  • Despite each undergoing labrum surgeries this offseason, Dont’a Hightower and Sebastian Vollmer are on divergent recovery courses, reports Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Vollmer is on track to be ready for training camp, while Hightower’s status for Week 1 isn’t a lock. Hightower, who had surgery in February after playing through a torn labrum during the latter portion of last season, played with a bigger brace than Vollmer, which indicates his tear needed a more extensive surgical overhaul. Vollmer, however, likely played with a mere labrum fray, inducing a smaller-scale surgery, notes former Chargers team doctor David Chao. Chao does expect Hightower to be on the field for Week 1.
  • Although Patriots fifth-round long snapper Joe Cardona‘s received apparent clearance from the navy to postpone his service time to play in New England this season, the team doesn’t know how long it’ll have him. It’s structured Cardona’s contract accordingly, notes Volin. Receiving only a $100K bonus rather than the $190K that would’ve been customary with his draft position, Cardona will receive roster bonuses for each year he’s with the Patriots and not in the navy. Per Volin, Cardona will collect just more than $17K, $37K and $45K for the 2015-17 seasons, respectively, if he’s on the active roster for at least one game, the PUP list or injured reserve.
  • The Pats are now extremely well-equipped to challenge teams at the goal line, writes Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, with their addition of 6-foot-6 Scott Chandler to go with Rob Gronkowski. With New England also adding Fred Davis to go with goal-line threat Michael Hoomanawanui, the team could add to its inside-the-20 proficiency after scoring 39 red zone touchdowns last season, a figure which was tied for the league high.
  • Michael Vick‘s unemployment extending into the summer likely stems from his lax work ethic last season, reports Volin, who notes the former No. 1 overall pick barely looked at the Jets‘ playbook last season and yielded many of his practice reps to Matt Simms.

AFC Notes: Gipson, Jets, Chargers, Bengals

Safety Tashaun Gipson, the league’s only unsigned restricted free agent, almost certainly took notice when the Browns added a $2MM+ salary to their payroll for a punter (Andy Lee) this past weekend, writes Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. As McManamon points out, Gipson wasn’t thrilled when the team assigned him a second-round tender, and is believed to be seeking a long-term deal that assures him of some guaranteed money up front.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Brian Costello of the New York Post ran down the top storylines to watch for in Jets camp, including the return of Muhammad Wilkerson, who is in the building today, as expected (Twitter link via Kristian Dyer of Metro New York). It’ll also be interesting to see whether offseason addition Ryan Fitzpatrick can eventually leapfrog Geno Smith for the starting job. For now, Jets coaches say that Smith will be under center unless he totally flames out this summer.
  • San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is now going on the offensive against the Chargers and the team isn’t happy about it, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. “This new negative advertising campaign against the Chargers — launched just as the team began negotiations with the city — speaks volumes about what the Mayor and his political operatives have really been up to on this issue from the start,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said of the mayor’s sponsored Facebook post going after the club. “They have always seemed more concerned with political cover than with actually building a stadium.”
  • Former NFL wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is among the intern coaches on the Bengals‘ staff for the 2015 season, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). Houshmandzadeh, who spent most of his career in Cincinnati and earned a Pro Bowl spot as a Bengal in 2007, last played for the Raiders in 2011.
  • As Field Yates of ESPN.com details, Joe Cardona‘s rookie contract with the Patriots features only a $100K signing bonus rather than the $190K his draft slot calls for. However, Cardona can earn up to $100K in roster bonuses over the next three seasons if he’s on the team, so the Pats are presumably protecting themselves a little in case the long snapper has to serve in the Navy.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Thursday

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the league.

  • The last fifth-round draft pick to sign, long snapper Joe Cardona inked his rookie deal with the Patriots, reports Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). Only first-round pick Malcom Brown remains unsigned among the Patriots’ draft contingent.
  • The Raiders made several moves today, including the waiving of tight end Scott Simonson, who was on Oakland’s practice squad last season, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Caplan also reports of the Raiders waiving linebackers Jacoby Hale and Miles Burris, the latter being waived off injured reserve with an injury settlement. Hale will head to injured reserve if unclaimed and could reach an injury settlement as well.
  • Chase Williams, the son of Rams defensive coordinator Greg Williams, signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent, reports Rams media information manager Casey Pearce (on Twitter). Chase Williams started at inside linebacker last season with Virginia Tech.
  • The Buccaneers removed 24-year-old tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi from their injured reserve with an injury settlement, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Ogbuehi has resided on the Dolphins’, Browns’ and Ravens’ rosters and/or practice squads the past two years.

Extra Points: Glennon, Pats, Panthers, S. Moss

As soon as the 2015 NFL concludes, there will be a flurry of news related to undrafted free agent signings. Each team will add 10-12 extra players in the coming days, and while we’ll cover each transaction, we won’t rush to get all the information out as quickly as possible. As we did last year at this time, we’ll wait until a club confirms its UDFA moves before we post them — it’s a policy that will make the information a bit more palatable for readers (and surely, for us as well).

With that said, let’s take a look at some notes as the draft wraps up:

  • Despite their selection of Jameis Winston with the first overall pick, the Buccaneers did not receive any calls about backup quarterback Mike Glennon, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (via Twitter). As Cummings notes, Tampa has made it clear that Glennon isn’t on the trade block, so it’s not a total surprise that no other clubs expressed interest.
  • The Patriots selected Navy long snapper Joe Cardona with their fifth-round pick, but might not have the four-year starter when they open up the regular season in September, Cardona has a pending military service commitment, and is required to serve five years as a Naval Officer following his graduation and commission in May, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Cardona will apply for an exemption that will allow him to postpone his service in order to pursue an NFL career.
  • The Panthers selected linebacker/safety hybrid Shaq Thompson with their first-round pick, but drew some criticism about not trading down and selecting him where he was likely to be available early in round two. General manager David Gettleman defended the pick, noting the value of having the fifth-year option on a first-round pick, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).
  • Washington drafted a pair of receivers in Jamison Crowder and Evan Spencer, but that doesn’t mean the end of the line for Santana Moss, writes John Keim of ESPN (via Twitter). Crowder specifically poses a threat to Moss, at 5’8″ and with speed and value returning punts and kicks. Moss caught only 10 passes for 116 yards in 2014, all in the last five games of the season.
  • The Saints were prepared to trade up to select linebacker Davis Tull, said head coach Sean Payton, according to Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com (Twitter link). The Chattanooga product ultimately fell to New Orleans in the fifth round.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.