Longtime Patriots special-teams maven Matthew Slater announces retirement from NFL after spending 16 seasons in New England

  • Slater won three Super Bowls and participated in 10 Pro Bowls during career
  • The 38-year-old also stuck it out during this past dreadful season in New England
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

New England Patriots special-teams maven Matthew Slater announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday morning.  

Slater spent all 16 years of his professional career in New England playing under Bill Belichick. 

Slater was a three-time Super Bowl champion and a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection. 

While he did not draw as much national star power as teammates such as Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Slater was incredibly popular with local fans of the Patriots for his loyalty to the team.  

Slater was last seen during what turned out to be his final NFL game last month against the New York Jets, hugging team owner Robert Kraft in the snow to end his career. 

Slater played for all 16 NFL seasons with the Patriots before retiring on Tuesday from football

Slater embraced Kraft during his final NFL game in January against the New York Jets

Slater embraced Kraft during his final NFL game in January against the New York Jets

Belichick regarded Slater as the best special teams player in NFL history, having been the Patriots’ captain for that unit starting in 2011. 

Slater played in several different phases during his time as a Patriot, including offense, defense, kickoff coverage, kickoff returns, and punt returns. 

‘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 said about his retirement. 

Slater holds the record for the most selections to a Pro Bowl for primarily a special-teams player of all-time, with 10. 

Jackie Slater, Matthew’s father, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. 

Matthew Slater’s case for Canton is an interesting one, as he never dazzled at a skill position, or had the reputation of a fellow special-teams expert to get in like Devin Hester. 

However, having a unique path to success in the NFL, with his accolades, gives Slater a strong case once he is eligible in 2029.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk