New England Patriots captain Matthew Slater carried the special teams unit throughout the entire season and now he has to think of his future. His future is in question mostly because he has one season left on the extension he signed last March.
Slater is at a point in his career where he doesn’t know how much football he has left. Young players tend to plan their next season.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity I had to play another year, thankful for my health,” the Patriots captain said. “Just the relationships and the experience, everything, really, really grateful for.”
The Patriots selected Slater in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He became a key member of the Patriots dynasty and a true leader in the locker room. Many would agree that Slater is the best kick coverage player in league history.
The veteran was voted to his ninth Pro Bowl and was named to his seventh total All-Pro team. He earned his spot on the Patriots’ Team of the 2010s. Yes, Slater help the Patriots win three Super Bowls, too.
When it comes to the decision-making process, Slater will take his time.
“I’m going to take some time,” he said. “Coach always says you don’t want to make any decisions right after the season, the day after the season, whether to play or not to play. So, I think I’m just going to be praying about it and see how that goes moving forward.”
Slater has earned his spot in Patriots history. He will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame right after his retirement.
“I love this organization,” Slater said. “It’s the only real job I’ve ever had, so I feel like I owe a debt to this organization. They provided myself and my family with a tremendous opportunity. I’m always going to support this organization.
“If they ask me to do anything as far as I see fit I try to step up in that role, but I haven’t thought about that and I don’t know what opportunities may present themselves beyond my playing career here. But I’d certainly keep an open mind to it. As long as it’s reasonable and it works for my family and I, then it’s something that I’d keep an open mind toward.”
This leads us to the fact that Slater may stay with the team in the long run. A coach maybe?