When an NFL team drafts or signs a player from a military school, there is always a chance that he may have to leave the team to serve in active duty.

When the Patriots selected Joe Cardona in the fifth round of last year's draft, they knew that.

New England was able to skate around the issue last year, as Cardona, who is a graduate of the Naval Academy, fulfilled his commitment by working one day a week at the Preparatory Academy in Newport, R.I.

It seems, though, that the Pats and Cardona might not be as lucky this year.

According to a NESN report, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus commented Thursday, on the Dan Patrick Show, that Cardona has been assigned to a ship and "may need to leave the Patriots for a year or so in order to go fulfill that role. "may need to leave the Patriots for a year or so in order to go fulfill that role.”

New England must have saw this coming, however, as they recently signed veteran long snapper Christian Yount to a deal. If Cardona has to miss the season, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Cleveland Brown should be able to step in and fill the role.