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Matthew Slater voted to PFWA All-NFL team; four Patriots voted to All-AFC squad

Just like the Associated Press, the Pro Football Writers of America see only one Patriot worthy of All-NFL recognition.

One of the annual traditions of the NFL season is publishing All-Star teams in January. The Pro Bowl and All-Pro team are the most famous of them but certainly not the only ones. The Pro Football Writers of America, for example, also release selections for the best players in the NFL each year.

Yesterday, the PFWA announced who has made its 2016 All-NFL, All-AFC and All-NFC teams. Four Patriots are part of them, but only one was voted to the All-NFL team:

ST Matthew Slater

As has been the case on the AP’s All-Pro team, Slater is the only player to represent the Patriots. Overall, it is the fourth time that the PFWA votes the 31-year old to its All-NFL squad. He also was on the 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 teams.

The All-AFC team, on the other hand, has more Patriots on it:

QB Tom Brady

LB Dont’a Hightower

FS Devin McCourty

ST Matthew Slater

With all of New England’s selection having also been voted to both the Pro Bowl and the AP All-Pro team, seeing their names on the PFWA’s All-conference team is not that big of a surprise. Hightower is a first-time recipient of the honor, while Brady, McCourty and Slater have all been voted All-AFC before.

Only the Kansas City Chiefs have more players – five – on the conference-team than the Patriots.