On the New England Patriots' roster, Matthew Slater is listed as a wide receiver. However, in his eight-year career he has caught only one pass (back on 2011 opening day). Still, he is a lock to make the team every year because of his primary role: playing special teams.
Slater, who is also a team-captain and leads the post-game breakdown huddles, plays on all four special teams units and is one of the best gunners in the NFL. The five-time Pro-Bowler is constantly among the NFL's leaders in special teams tackles.
Therefore, today's news that Slater signed a one-year contract extension with the Patriots do not come as a surprise:
Source: the Patriots have signed WR/ST Matthew Slater to a 1-year, $1.8M extension through 2017. He's a 5-time Pro Bowler.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 31, 2016
Slater is the second core special teams player to receive an extension this week, after linebacker Jonathan Freeny signed a two-year deal on Saturday, August 27th. The Patriots also inked Nate Ebner to a two-year deal this March, and Brandon King will be an exclusive rights free agent at the end of this season.
This quartet looks to thrive in 2016 and all should return in 2017 to provide elite play on special teams.
Congratulations to Slater, and here’s to another successful year!