The New England Patriots have consistently found themselves at the NFL top table in recent years precisely because they do things differently to their rivals.
That philosophy was on full show during the 2015 NFL Draft when Bill Belichick and the Pats front office opted to use a precious pick on a long snapper out of Navy.
Not so fast
The move for Joe Cardona was an unlikely one but New England fans were quick to back the decision, not wanting to defy their leader Belichick. Now though, with the new recruit handing the team some disappointing news, there might be a few more willing to question the choice.
Cardona may be ecstatic at having the chance to follow his NFL dream as part of the reigning Super Bowl champions' roster but he told the Boston Herald that, at this stage, he can't even begin to put a date on when the Navy will allow him to join up with the Patriots:
“The decision is out of my hands,” Cardona said. “Right now I’m prepared to be the best football player I can be for the New England Patriots and the best naval officer I can be. Whatever duty I’m doing at the time, I’m doing it. I’m just prepared to do my best.”
Granted long snapper is not the most pivotal position on the gridiron but the choice to use a fifth-round selection on a man who has no idea when he will be able to link up with the team is certainly a move out of left field.
Long time coming
It is not as if the New England Patriots are alone in waiting on confirmation over when their draft choices will be able to take to the field but, whilst the Rams could wait month on the fitness of running back Todd Gurley for instance, the champs could theoretically be waiting years to see if their gamble pays off.
Indeed, Bob Kuberski was the last man drafted out of Navy (1993 by the Packers) and Green Bay had to wait a full two years before he was released by the service.
Not to mention Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach who spent five more years in the Navy after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964.
Patiots fans: Are you happy with your team's draft choices? Let us know in the comments section below...
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