The New England Patriots are making sure Matthew Slater stays with the only franchise he’s ever played for. Per ESPN’s Field Yates, New England signed Slater to a two-year extension which is around an average of $2.6 million per year. Slater made $2.9 million last season in New England.
Scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, Slater played 326 special-teams snaps for the Patriots in 2019, earning first-team All-Pro honors for the second time. He has led the Patriots in special-teams tackles seven times in his 12 seasons.
Slater, who will be 35 in September, passed Steve Tasker for the most Pro Bowl selections for a special teamer in league history with eight. He has just one catch for 46 yards in his 12 seasons and has played just 201 offensive snaps since 2012.
Slater admitted he wanted to continue his career with the Patriots early in the offseason and had no plans to retire.
“I still love to play and want to continue to play,” Slater told Jeff Howe of The Athletic. “I think I’ve expressed several times my desire to play the entirety of my career (in New England).
“When you play 12 years in one location, it’s hard for you to imagine playing anywhere else. I’ve certainly expressed that publicly. I’ve expressed that privately. But again, ultimately, sometimes that decision isn’t always in your hands. We’ll see how things go moving forward.”
The Patriots will keep their special teams captain on the team for the next two seasons. Coming off one of his best seasons in the league, Slater’s presence will likely keep New England’s special teams unit one of the best in the NFL.