FEBRUARY 20: Terms on Slater’s newest deal are in, as detailed by ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). The veteran will have a salary of $2.52MM, coupled with a modest signing bonus. His cap hit, however, will come in at only $1.3MM since the contract qualifies Slater for the four year player benefit. Given his production in 2022, this latest contact is likely to provide good value for the Patriots.
FEBRUARY 17: A special teams mainstay will remain in New England for at least one more season. The Patriots announced on Friday that Matthew Slater will play in 2023, setting him up for a 16th season spent in Foxborough.
The 37-year-old signed a one-year deal last offseason, valued at $2.62MM. While today’s announcement did not mention a new pact being signed, a similar arrangement is likely to be in place for 2023. Slater continued his long-established role as a special teams captain last year, remaining productive with 13 tackles while logging an 84% snap share in the third phase.
While those totals didn’t land him an 11th Pro Bowl nod, Slater proved he is still a valuable member of the Patriots’ operation. Suiting up for a full season also allowed him to pass Bruce Armstrong for second place on the franchise’s all-time games played list with 223. The three-time Super Bowl winner now trails only Tom Brady (285) in that regard.
“I couldn’t be happier to learn that Matthew Slater has decided to return for his 16th season with the New England Patriots,” owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “Matthew’s drive to be the best at what he does will one day earn him enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame… He is truly special, and I am grateful that his contributions to the team will continue.”
Head coach Bill Belichick added that he is “thrilled” Slater will play at least one more campaign. The former firth-rounder has not recorded any offensive yardage since 2016 and has just 54 in total over the course of his career. His accomplishments as a gunner, however, have solidified his status as one of the best special teamers in NFL history. He will now look towards adding to his legacy in that capacity.
“It is a great honor and blessing to return to the Patriots for my 16th season,” Slater said. “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.”