Matthew Slater is held in high regard by the New England Patriots organization. And that was reinforced on Wednesday, as it was learned that the sixth-year specialist had signed a two-year extension with the team that drafted him No. 153 overall in 2008, according to Field Yates of ESPN.
The former UCLA Bruins receiver, safety and returner was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. But the $4 million pact, as Yates reports, will keep Slater in Foxborough through the 2016 season.
The 29-year-old has caught one pass for 46 yards in 83 regular-season games with New England. Even so, the son of Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater has left his mark.
“Matt does a lot of things for us. I mean obviously he’s a very good player on the field,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in his press conference on Wednesday. “Very professional, works hard, does a great job with all the players – younger players and also his peers. He’s very well-respected in the locker room, not just by the players but it’s definitely the entire organization.”
Slater has carved a role and a career as a big-four special-teamer for New England. Along the way, the 6-foot, 210-pound gunner has become a four-year team captain and a three-time Pro Bowler.
He has 99 career tackles – 11 this season – to show for it.
“His work ethic, his attitude, his toughness – he’s really pretty much a model,” Belichick said. “A model player. Would love to have 53 guys like him.”