NFL Veteran Matthew Slater, 10-Time Pro Bowler with Patriots, Announces Retirement

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Pats’ Slater, 10-time Pro Bowler, retires from NFL

Mike Reiss, an NFL reporter at ESPN renowned for his coverage of the New England Patriots, has been entrenched in Patriots lore since 1997, joining ESPN in 2009.

His extensive insights into the team’s dynamics have garnered him recognition, notably being named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sports Media Association in 2019. For updates and analysis, Reiss is a must-follow on Twitter at @MikeReiss.

Matthew Slater, a stalwart figure in NFL special teams, bid farewell to the gridiron on Tuesday after an illustrious 16-season career, setting a record with 10 Pro Bowl appearances.

“I have given all that I possibly can to respect and honor the game,” Slater expressed in a social media post shared by the New England Patriots. “Though it is time for my relationship with the game to evolve, the love I have for it will last a lifetime.”

A message from Matthew Slater.

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 20, 2024, Slater, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, entered the NFL stage when the Patriots drafted him in the fifth round of the 2008 draft from UCLA, remaining loyal to New England throughout his entire career.

His journey began with uncertainty, questioning his roster spot during his initial training camp, emblematic of his specialized role as a devoted special teams contributor.

In recent years, former Patriots coach Bill Belichick lauded Slater as the paramount figure in his domain, considering him among the pantheon of all-time greats alongside quarterback Tom Brady and linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

“In 2008, I came here as a young man with hopes and dreams. In 2024, I can retire knowing this experience has exceeded any hope or dream I ever had,” Slater reflected.

In a statement to ESPN, Belichick extolled Slater’s unparalleled contributions, hailing him as the epitome of excellence both on and off the field. Slater’s dedication and work ethic set a standard that few could match, earning admiration and respect from teammates, coaches, and fans alike.

Slater, acknowledging his father’s influence, secured three Super Bowl victories with the Patriots, etching his name in franchise history as the all-time leader in special teams tackles.

“Dad, you blazed the trail. You set the standard. I hope I followed in those footsteps well,” Slater expressed. “It was never a burden. Only a blessing.”

With 239 games played for the Patriots, second only to Brady, and 25 postseason appearances, Slater’s legacy is indelibly etched in NFL annals. Patriots owner Robert Kraft lauded Slater’s accomplishments, envisioning a future enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside his father.

“On the field, his 10 Pro Bowl appearances will likely earn him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day alongside his father. Off the field, he will be remembered for so much more,” Kraft remarked.

Slater’s impact transcended football, serving as a beacon of integrity and moral character. His unwavering faith and commitment to family resonated deeply with teammates and fans, solidifying his status as a role model for generations to come.

As Slater embarks on the next chapter of his journey, his legacy as a player and a man of unwavering principles will endure, leaving an indelible mark on the NFL landscape.


By Michael Smith

Hi. Hailing from Manila, I am an avid consumer of anime, gaming, football and professional wrestling. You can mostly find me either writing articles, binging shows or engaged in an engrossing discussion about the said interests.

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