Matthew Slater

NFL Staff Updates: Commanders, 49ers, Slater, Colts, Panthers

The Commanders announced three updates to their front office staff this week. With new leadership in general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn, the team sees two staffers depart and one scout join his former boss.

Firstly, senior director of player development Malcolm Blacken will not be retained in 2024, per Ben Standig of The Athletic. Serving multiple stints with the team since 1999, Blacken had risen to his role from years as a strength and conditioning coach.

Joining Blacken in departure will be college scout Harrison Ritcher. According to Neil Stratton of, Ritcher is headed to Atlanta to serve as a national scout for the Falcons, reuniting with former Washington staffer, and current assistant general manager in Atlanta, Kyle Smith. Ritcher had been with the team since 2017.

Lastly, the Commanders will be adding Jack Quagliarello to the scouting staff as a pro scout, per Stratton. Quagliarello follows Peters from San Francisco after spending last season as a scouting assistant with the 49ers.

Here are a few other staff updates from around the NFL:

  • The 49ers also made some announcements, all to their scouting staff. San Francisco has promoted Josh Williams from national scout to director of scouting & football operations, per Stratton. Williams started with the team in 2011 as a scouting assistant and has quickly risen through the ranks. As a part of the NFL’s accelerator program, Williams is widely considered a future general manager candidate. He’ll work closely with general manager John Lynch and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe in 2024. In addition, Stratton notes that Ryan Schutta has been hired as a scouting assistant, filling the role vacated by Quagliarello’s departure mentioned above.
  • Following his retirement, we learned that former Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater would join the Patriots staff in a full-time role. Now, Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald tells us a bit more about Slater’s new role. Kyed says that, while Slater “hasn’t advanced into a coaching role” just yet, he will serve an advisory role on the staff in 2024.
  • The Colts had reportedly finalized their 2024 coaching staff back in March, but we did note that they planned to announce two Tony Dungy Diversity Fellowship hires at the time. The team has officially made such announcements, per team writer JJ Stankevitz, naming Kalon Humphries and Diego Ortiz as the two fellows. Indianapolis also announced a title change for Joe Hastings, who will now serve as senior assistant special teams coach, and the hiring of Brent Stockstill as a defensive assistant. Stockstill makes his NFL coaching debut after five years coaching at the collegiate level with a focus on offense.
  • Lastly, the Panthers have added Brad Obee as their new Midwest scout, according to Stratton. Over 21 years with the Bears and Eagles, Obee has spent time in numerous scouting roles, often focusing on pro scouting. He most recently spent the last three seasons as an area scout for Philadelphia, departing after the expiration of his contract.

AFC East Notes: Allen, Bills, Coleman, Staff, Washington, Jets, Patriots, Slater, Dolphins

Having traded Stefon Diggs weeks after letting Gabe Davis walk in free agency, the Bills are facing questions about their receiving corps. The team’s top offseason investment at the position — No. 33 overall pick Keon Coleman — encouraged Josh Allen. Bills GM Brandon Beane said during a Sirius XM Radio appearance he had Allen join coaches in watching some film of receiver prospects. Coleman was among the candidates the superstar passer preferred, expressing his approval after being informed on Day 2 of the draft the Bills would go with the Florida State wideout. Although Coleman did not produce an 800-yard receiving season with the Seminoles, the Bills look set to count on the 6-foot-4 pass catcher as they remake their receiving corps.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Jets have moved on from one of the better-known members of their coaching staff. Leon Washington, who had been in place as assistant special teams coach in each of Robert Saleh‘s three seasons, did not see his contract renewed for the 2024 season, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello. This marked the former Jets kick returner/running back’s first full-time coaching gig, after a run of fellowships since his playing career ended after the 2014 season. A Jets contributor from 2006-09, Washington earned All-Pro honors in 2008. Earlier this offseason, the Jets lost special teams assistant Michael Ghobrial to the Giants. Dan Shamash, who helps advise Saleh in terms of game management, is now listed as an ST assistant for the team. Brant Boyer remains in place as the team’s ST coordinator.
  • Rome Odunze may well have been the Jets’ preference at No. 10, but after the Bears went with the Washington wideout at 9, the team was set on Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu. The Jets were also high on Washington tackle Troy Fautanu, according to’s Jeremy Fowler, but the team carried some long-term durability concerns about the Pac-12 blocker. Two other tackles — Taliese Fuaga (Saints) and Amarius Mims (Bengals) — went off the board before Fautanu, who slid to the Steelers at No. 20. Some teams flagged Fautanu’s knee as a medical concern,’s Albert Breer notes. It appears the Jets were one of them.
  • Odell Beckham Jr.‘s Dolphins contract includes a void year, which will drop his cap number by a bit. The new Miami WR3 will count $2.1MM on the team’s 2024 cap, per OverTheCap. Beckham signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Dolphins; the team will take on a $900K dead money charge in 2025 if OBJ is not re-signed by the 2025 league year.
  • The Bills have either decided on their defensive play-caller, only to not reveal the choice publicly, or they are still in the process of determining who will call the signals come September. Sean McDermott said (via the Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski) he is delaying this decision until at least training camp. McDermott called plays last season, with the Bills having moved on from longtime defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, but the Bills now have a DC again in Bobby Babich. The Bills have been a top-five defense in each of the past three seasons, though their units — as key injuries hit in each season — have struggled in the playoffs.
  • Matthew Slater‘s immediate transition to coaching will come in a full-time role, according to’s Mike Reiss. The perennial Pro Bowl special-teamer is working as a “right-hand man” to Jerod Mayo, with Reiss noting the new Patriots HC is receiving input from his former teammate regarding team-building and character development. Slater, 38, spent 16 seasons with the Patriots, coming into the league in the same 2008 draft class Mayo did.
  • Staying with that 2008 draft class, one of its members recently landed a scouting gig. The Dolphins hired Beau Bell as a pro scout, according to’s Neil Stratton. A 2008 fourth-round Browns draftee, Bell only played five NFL games. He will make the move to a full-time role after receiving an apprentice opportunity with the Rams and serving as GM of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul.

NFL Staff Updates: Hawks, Dolphins, Slater

The Seahawks have added a new face to their front office, according to team senior reporter John Boyle. Boyle tells us that Joey Laine has been hired as Seattle’s new vice president of football administration.

Laine was hired by the Packers last year to the role of salary cap analyst. Before that, he spent seven years in Chicago serving as the Bears’ chief contract negotiator. He also looked after the team’s salary cap situation and strategic planning while ensuring compliance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Seattle announced the hiring of a new assistant coach, as well. Per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, the Seahawks are bringing in former Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton to serve as an offensive assistant. Keeton most recently spent the 2023 season as an offensive analyst at Marshall. He was hired to be Montana State’s new quarterbacks coach in January but will instead take his first job in the NFL.

Here are a few other coaching and staffing updates from around the league:

  • The Dolphins also brought in a new coaching assistant from the college ranks, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Rob Everett, formerly a senior offensive analyst at the University of Wisconsin, will come in as a new Miami offensive assistant. Before his time with the Badgers, Everett was a defensive coordinator at Division III Bridgewater College.
  • Patriots special teams legend Matthew Slater announced his retirement in February after 16 years in New England. We noted at the time that Slater’s attention would now turn to his post-playing days, and it didn’t take long as Conor Ryan of reports that Slater will stick around with the Patriots in a new role. Right now, it’s unclear whether the position is a paid, full-time gig or if Slater is simply volunteering, but the 10-time Pro Bowler was on hand for the team’s first day of their voluntary offseason workout program today. New head coach Jerod Mayo has already made a habit of hiring former Patriots players as coaches, hiring Dont’a Hightower as the team’s linebackers coach and Tiquan Underwood as assistant wide receivers coach. Slater may just be the next to join in the fun.

Patriots’ Matthew Slater Retires

Matthew Slater‘s NFL tenure has come to an end. The Patriots’ special teams ace announced on Tuesday that he has retired after 16 years with the franchise.

“In 2008, I came here as a young man with hopes and dreams,” his announcement reads in part. “In 2024, I can retire knowing this experience has exceeded any hope or dream I ever had.”

Slater played on one-year contracts in both 2022 and ’23, as the end of his career drew nearer. His final New England pact allowed him to carry on his familiar special teams capacity throughout the season. For the first time in his career, the former fifth-rounder did not see a single offensive snap. Slater was, however, on the field for a personal high 89% of the Patriots’ special teams snaps.

Throughout his run in New England, the UCLA product was one of the league’s best third phase players, something reflected in his accolades. With the exception of the 2018 campaign, Slater was named a Pro Bowler each year from 2011 to 2021. In that span, he also earned a pair of first-team All-Pro nods as well as three second-team honors.

Slater was a key member of New England’s coverage units throughout his career, although he also totaled 35 kick returns. He made 191 tackles across his Patriots tenure, adding another 22 stops in postseason play. The 38-year-old was a member of three Super Bowl-winning squads, another factor which will help his candidacy to join his father Jackie in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In all, Slater will hang up his cleats with 239 games under his belt; that figure ranks second in franchise history to Tom Brady. The former complied just over $30MM in career earnings while garnering a reputation as one of the league’s most highly-respected players. His attention will now turn to his post-playing days.

“I have given all that I possibly can to respect and honor the game,” Slater added. “Though it is time for my relationship with the game to evolve, the love I have for it will last a lifetime.”

Patriots Notes: Steve Belichick, Mayo, Front Office, ST Coordinator

While Bill Belichick‘s iconic stint with the Patriots has come to an end, there’s a chance his sons stick with the organization. According to Albert Breer of, both Steve Belichick and Brian Belichick have been offered opportunities to stay on the staff for 2024.

Steve Belichick has worked his way up through New England’s coaching ranks, culminating in him earning the roles of defensive play-caller and linebackers coach. New head coach Jerod Mayo worked closely with Steve, as the two effectively served as New England’s defensive coordinator over the past few years. While the elder Belichick could recruit his son to his next destination, the younger Belichick still has a strong connection to Mayo and the Patriots.

Brian Belichick joined the organization as a scouting assistant in 2016 and eventually earned a promotion to coaching assistant. After three years in that role, he was promoted to safeties coach, a gig he’s held since the 2020 campaign.

More notes out of New England…

  • The Patriots quick decision to promote Mayo wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction, a fact we already partly knew considering the outlined succession plan in the coach’s contract. However, Breer notes that Robert Kraft has been touting Mayo as his next head coach for two years, with the owner telling others that Mayo would earn the promotion if Belichick left the organization.
  • Belichick’s exit didn’t only open a hole on the sideline. Belichick also had full control over personnel, meaning the Patriots now have a GM-sized hole in their front office. We previously heard the organization was expected to lean on their current staff, a grouping that includes director of player personnel Matt Groh and director of scouting Eliot Wolf. If that configuration doesn’t work out, Breer says Kraft could end up looking to hire a GM, although the owner won’t be rushed into any decision. Breer also notes that the Patriots will better empower their scouting a department, a group that was becoming increasingly “frustrated that they weren’t being heard in the final decision-making process.”
  • The Patriots have requested permission to interview Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams for the same job, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Williams got his NFL coaching start via the Bill Walsh NFL diversity coaching fellowship, and he worked his way up with the Bears, Lions, and Chargers before joining the Lions as the assistant ST coordinator in 2019. After two years in that role, he earned the top ST gig in Atlanta in 2021.
  • Before the team’s season finale, the Patriots converted Lawrence Guy‘s $500K playing-time incentive into a bonus, guaranteeing the veteran’s money regardless of his snap count in Week 18. Guy would have earned the incentive had he appeared in 45 percent of his team’s defensive snaps, and he entered Week 18 having played in 45.57 percent. Guy ended up clinching that mark during the loss to the Jets.
  • During that season finale, most signs pointed to it being special teams ace Matthew Slater‘s final NFL game. ESPN’s Mike Reiss writes that there were “strong hints” that the captain would be hanging up his cleats, with the Patriots wearing custom, Slater-themed hoodies and the player’s family being in attendance.

Patriots’ Matthew Slater To Return In 2023

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.”

Patriots Re-Sign Matthew Slater

Matthew Slater is returning to New England for a 15th season. The key special teamer is re-signing with the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). It’s a one-year deal worth a fully guaranteed $2.62MM. The deal includes a $152K signing bonus, according to Doug Kyed of (via Twitter).

Since being selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, Slater has put together an impressive resume. He’s earned three Super Bowl rings, 10 Pro Bowl appearances, and five All-Pro nods (including two first-team recognitions). Slater needs just one more regular season appearance to claim sole possession of third place on the Patriots all-time games played list (behind Tom Brady and Bruce Armstrong).

Slater earned his third-straight Pro Bowl appearance in 2021 after finishing with 11 tackles in 17 games. The 36-year-old saw time in 80 percent of his team’s special teams snaps.

Originally drafted as a wideout, Slater has collected three touches for 57 yards from scrimmage in his career.

Rams Shopping QB Jared Goff?

Raise your hand if you saw this one coming. Following news from last night that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford would welcome a trade to the Rams, we’re now hearing that Los Angeles is shopping around their incumbent signal-caller. Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports that the Rams have held “exploratory talks with multiple teams” regarding a Jared Goff trade.

[RELATED: Rams In Play For Matthew Stafford?]

From a financial perspective, trading Goff is easier said than done. As Rodrigue explains, the Rams would be stuck with $22.2MM in dead money if they were to trade the former first-overall pick. However, a trade would be more palatable if it took place after June 1, as the Rams would be left with only $6.8MM in dead money (plus another $15.4MM in dead cap in 2022). As our own Sam Robinson pointed out last night, releasing Goff is also unrealistic. The guarantees in the quarterback’s four-year, $134MM deal go through 2022, and the organization doesn’t have an easy out on that contract until 2023. While Stafford has base salaries of just $9.5MM and $12.5MM over the next two years, Goff’s contract certainly complicates any potential trade.

After earning Pro Bowl nodes in his sophomore and junior seasons (including a 2018 campaign where he helped guide the Rams to a Super Bowl loss), Goff has seemingly plateaued over the past two years. He tossed a career-high 16 interceptions in 2019, and his 20 passing touchdowns in 2020 was the lowest total since his rookie year (when he started only seven games). For comparison’s sake, Stafford has tossed fewer than 20 touchdowns only once since 2011, and that came during a 2019 campaign where he compiled 19 passing touchdowns in only eight games.

As Sam noted last night, Rams head coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead have recently made comments indicating Goff’s status is less than secure. Rodrigue also notes that there’s a connection between the Rams’ and Lions’ front offices; new Lions GM Brad Holmes previously served as the Rams’ director of college scouting. Now ,that’s not to say that any Goff trade would necessarily involve the Lions; considering Detroit’s apparent desire to restart, it doesn’t seem that Goff would be a fit in any hypothetical Stafford-to-Los Angeles deal. Still, the connection between the front offices is too obvious to ignore.

AFC East Notes: Gase, Patriots, Moss, Bills, Slater, Jets, Darnold

Adam Gase became a polarizing figure during his stint as the Jets’ head coach, to put it kindly. His tenure was nothing short of a disaster as New York finished 2-14 this year, and media and fans alike are united in their dislike of him. That being said that might not be enough to damage Gase’s rep in league circles, and it sounds like he could have some opportunities in front of him. Even before Bill Belichick recently sung his praises ahead of Week 17, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that he had already heard Gase’s name connected with the Patriots.

Volin thinks Gase would make sense as the Patriots’ new quarterbacks coach with Jedd Fisch taking the head coaching job at Arizona, or potentially the new OC if Josh McDaniels left. As he points out, there are legit ties here. Both Gase and McDaniels got their first coaching jobs as student assistants on Nick Saban’s staff at Michigan State in 1999. Then Gase was McDaniels’ receivers coach when McDaniels became head coach of the Broncos. With Gase being the Dolphins’ coach before landing the Jets job, he’s spent the past handful of years going up against Belichick twice a year in the AFC East. This hire would certainly raise a lot of eyebrows if it happens.

Here’s more from around the division:

  • The Bills escaped a tough test from the Colts on Saturday, but it looks like they’ll be without a key piece moving forward. Running back Zack Moss will miss time with an ankle injury, and the fear is his postseason may be done, Mike Garafolo tweets. Moss had to be carted off the field, so the fact he’s not 100 percent done for the playoffs could actually be a positive. The third-round rookie from Utah split time in the backfield with Devin Singletary all season, and had seven carries and four catches agains Indy before going down. Singletary will now be the featured back moving forward. Moss finished his rookie season with 112 carries for 481 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. It’s certainly not ideal, but Buffalo’s Super Bowl chances will still hinge on Josh Allen‘s arm and not the ground game.
  • Special teams ace Matthew Slater has had a storied career with the Patriots, but it could be coming to an end. Slater is uncertain about playing in 2021 and will take some time before deciding about retirement, per Josh Alper of “I’m at a point in my career now where I don’t know how much football I have left and I think as a young guy I was always thinking about the next season, the career you hope to have,” Slater said. “Now, obviously, I’m on the back nine.” If this is it, he’ll hang up his cleats after an extremely decorated career. Slater has won three Super Bowls with New England, made nine Pro Bowls, and seven All-Pro teams. It would also represent the end of an era, as the team captain is one of the few guys left other than Belichick from the old-guard Patriots.
  • As for the Jets, they’ll have the most pivotal offseason of any team in the division. First order of business is deciding what to do with Sam Darnold, and in turn the second overall pick, as we’ve already heard they’ll be trading one of them. There will surely be a lot of speculation leading up to the draft, and ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay is saying he thinks New York will pass on taking a new quarterback, via Rich Cimini of “I know [Jets GM] Joe Douglas. I obviously played with him in college. We have a good relationship,” McShay said. “I know he grew up in the Ozzie Newsome organization with the Ravens. If it’s not going to be Trevor Lawrence, it’s going to be move down, if possible. If not, let’s protect [Darnold] and get guys around the player we think can be our franchise.” As for Douglas, he was complimentary of Darnold at his end of year press conference, but wouldn’t commit to him long-term. This is just one of what will be many datapoints, but right now it seems like Darnold has a good shot to be under center in 2021.

AFC East Notes: Edelman, Jets, Dolphins

Matthew Slater is in the midst of his 13th NFL season. With the Patriots currently spending a week on the West Coast, the California (and UCLA) product is appreciating what could be the final homecoming of his career.

“I don’t know how many more chances I’m going to have to play football in California, where my dreams started as a kid. It certainly means a lot,” Slater told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “For our team, it’s another game, and they’ll be the two biggest games of the season. It certainly carries a little extra significance for me, especially the second one, needless to say.”

Yesterday’s game against the Chargers marked Slater’s first game in Los Angeles since his final season at UCLA in 2007. As Reiss notes, Slater’s father, Jackie, spent 19 of his 20 NFL seasons playing in Los Angeles for the Rams.

The 35-year-old special teams ace has spent his entire career on the opposite coast in New England. Slater has earned three Super Bowl rings, eight Pro Bowl appearances, and five first-team All-Pro nods. He also earned a spot on New England’s 2010s All-Decade Team.

Some more notes out of the AFC East…

  • One of Slater’s teammates won’t be returning to the field very soon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that wideout Julian Edelman is “still a couple of weeks” away from rejoining the Patriots. The 34-year-old landed on IR back in October after undergoing knee surgery, and he was recently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Edelman, who has 21 receptions for 315 yards this season, is still planning to play again in 2020, according to Schefter.
  • A surprising name has popped up as a potential suitor for the inevitable head coaching vacancy with the Jets. WFAN radio host Boomer Esiason suggested that former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher could be an option for New York. “He was saying to me yesterday, he’s the one that told me the Jets job is going to be really attractive, and they could hire whomever they want, and he told me he loves [G.M.] Joe Douglas,” Esiason said (via Mike Florio of Cowher hasn’t coached since the 2006 season. He currently holds a 149-90 record, and he won a Super Bowl championship with Pittsburgh in 2005.
  • The Dolphins auditioned running back Elijah McGuire recently, according to Schefter (on Twitter). The former Jets sixth-round pick has bounced around the NFL a bit, including a stint on the Cowboys practice squad that ended back in October. The 26-year-old has appeared in 24 career games (five starts), rushing for 591 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also added 36 receptions for 370 yards and two scores.