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New England Patriots captain Matthew Slater to retire

The New England Patriots say goodbye to one of their most influential members: Matthew Slater. Slater announced his retirement in a social media post on the Patriots’ social media accounts and website Tuesday afternoon, thanking his family, teammates, and fans as he transitions into the next phase of his life.

“For the last 25 years of my life, 16 of them as a New England Patriot, I have been incredibly blessed to be able to emulate the man I saw on those fields in Meridian by playing the game that I love so much. I have given all that I possibly can to respect and honor the game. Though it is time for my relationship with the game to evolve, the love I have for it will last a lifetime,” wrote Slater, “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.”

Selected by the team in the NFL’s 2008 draft out of UCLA, Slater played 239 games in his 16 seasons with the Patriots. Additionally, according to CBS News, Slater is among the five NFL players who have 10 Pro Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl wins.

Slater’s retirement announcement unleashed bittersweet praise and well wishes from fans, friends, and colleagues across the industry. Patriots general manager Bill Belichick told ESPN in a statement that Slater “deserves every accolade someone could receive.”

“He is a once in a lifetime person, and the best core special teams player in NFL history,” continued Belichick. “His daily, weekly, and yearly work ethic paved the way for his unsurpassed performance. Matthew is the finest example of what an intense competitor and human being should be. He has been a great role model for the teams that I have coached.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft echoed Belichick’s praises in a statement of his own. 

“He is a role model, not just for young players, but for everyone. He is a man of integrity and high moral character who is led by his faith and committed to his family,” wrote Kraft, “There is no finer person than Matthew Slater. On behalf of the New England Patriots, I want to express our deepest gratitude to Matthew, in partnership with his wife Shahrzad and the entire Slater family, for his remarkable 16-year Patriots career.”


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