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Navy long snapper Joe Cardona to visit Eagles, sources say

Navy long snapper Joe Cardona runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
Navy long snapper Joe Cardona runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. (Julio Cortez, Associated Press)

Navy long snapper Joe Cardona is scheduled to visit the Philadelphia Eagles next week, according to a league source.

His snaps have been clocked at 41 mph, reaching the punter's hands in less than a second.

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A four-year starter, Cardona was the only long snapper invited to the NFL scouting combine.

At 6-foot-2, 242 pounds, Cardona bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times and had a 33-inch vertical leap and a 4.91 in the 40-yard dash.

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Cardona has a pending service commitment. He is required to serve five years in the Navy as an officer and will be commissioned in May.

There have been exceptions granted in the past, though, including special clearance given to former Navy fullback Eric Kettani, which allowed him to play in the NFL.

"Ultimately, it's whatever the Navy wants to do with me and I'm ready and willing to do whatever they ask," Cardona said during the NFL scouting combine."It's something that I'm definitely looking into applying for. All that comes down to the needs of the Navy and what they foresee me doing and how they want me to serve, what they see serving the country."

The Navy gave Cardona a special dispensation to play in the Senior Bowl and clearance to participate in the scouting combine.

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If Cardona isn't allowed to play immediately in the NFL, he says he doesn't view that as a negative. Cardona will graduate as a Marine in May and then head to The Basic School at Quantico.

"I don't see any downside to it," Cardona said. "It's a guaranteed job and a career that a lot of people really aspire to be. It's a really honorable thing to be, to be a Naval officer. I look forward to whatever I do the next two years, whether it's in the NFL or leading sailors and Marines. I'm excited for whatever comes next. Getting the opportunity to play football is a dream come true and I hope it comes to fruition."

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