Following the departure of Tom Brady and Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater became the longest tenured member of the team last season.
Through 12 years in Foxborough, the 153rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of UCLA has put together a dominant, perhaps Hall of Fame worthy career leading the special teams unit. During his Patriots tenure, Slater has earned nine Pro Bowl honors, five first-team All-Pro Awards and was named a member of the Patriots 2010’s All Decade Team.
This past season, Slater led a Patriots special teams unit that was ranked the best in the NFL and head coach Bill Belichick offered some high praisewhen he was asked where he ranks among all of football’s special teams players.
“Got to be at the top,” Belichick said in December. “I can’t think of anybody that’s done more than he has. And he’s done it over a very consistent period of time, at an extremely high level.”
“We’ve had some great players here, and I’ve had some great players through my career – in Cleveland, going back to the Giants – but, he’s certainly the very best that I’ve ever been around and that we’ve had to play against, as well. His consistency is outstanding, but he factors in on a lot of plays.”
On Friday, the NFL Throwback Twitter account shared some highlights of Slater’s career in New England as the anniversary of his drafting approaches this week.
Bill Belichick took a chance on Matthew Slater in the 5th round of the 2008 @NFLDraft. Slater, primarily a special teamer at UCLA, would go on to earn 9 Pro Bowl selections, the most ever by a special teams player in NFL history.
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) April 23, 2021
Posted Under: Patriots Video
Tags: Bill Belichick Matthew Slater