FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that special teams captain Matthew Slater will return to the Patriots this season.
"I couldn't be happier to learn that Matthew Slater has decided to return for his 16th season with the New England Patriots," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "Matthew's drive to be the best at what he does will one day earn him enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yet, as stellar as his football career has been, he is an even better person. He is led by his faith and spirituality, dedicated to his family and committed to his craft. There is no better leader for our younger players to follow and no better ambassador for the Patriots organization. He is truly special, and I am grateful that his contributions to the team will continue."
Slater, 37, is a veteran of 15 NFL seasons with the Patriots after originally joining the team as a fifth-round draft pick (153rd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft out of UCLA. The 6-foot, 205-pounder is a 12-time team captain and has earned 10 Pro Bowl invitations as a special teamer, the most special teams Pro Bowl honors in NFL history. Steve Tasker has the second-most with seven Pro Bowl selections. The only other players that were active in 2022 with at least 10 Pro Bowl berths were Tom Brady (15) and Aaron Rodgers (10).
"Matt's incredible career is a testament to his preparation and will to succeed," said head coach Bill Belichick. "We are thrilled he will be playing this season."
A few of our favorite photos of special teams captain Matthew Slater from the 2022 season.
The three-time Super Bowl champion has played in 25 postseason games, tied for the ninth-most in NFL history.
"It is a great honor and blessing to return to the Patriots for my 16th season," said Slater. "I thank God for His continued grace and provision over my career. I look forward to continuing to play under the leadership of Coach Belichick. Thank you to the Kraft family and the entire Patriots organization for allowing me to continue to pursue my childhood dream. See you in the fall. God Bless."
Slater ranks second in team history with 223 total games played and is the team's all-time leader with 172 total special teams tackles in the regular season and 23 special teams tackles in the postseason.
Last season, Slater finished with 13 special teams tackles for his 11th season with double-digit special teams tackles. His 11 seasons with double-digit special teams tackles is the most in the NFL since 2000.