On Tuesday, the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl nominees were announced and four members of the New England Patriots are among them: Quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, fullback James Develin and special teamer Matthew Slater. While the first three are no surprises given that they are the best players in the NFL at their respective positions, seeing Slater get the nod can be seen as one.
After all, the special teams ace has appeared in only seven games so far this season as he has battled with a nagging hamstring issue all year long. Still, that did not discourage fans, players and coaches to vote for the veteran and as a result he has now earned his seventh straight Pro Bowl berth – tying the all-time record for special teams recognitions originally set by Buffalo Bills great Steve Tasker.
Slater getting voted to his seventh Pro Bowl prompted former Patriots special teamer Matt Chatham to share the following thoughts on Twitter:
Matthew Slater is a slam dunk Hall of Famer. The argument against it sucks, so don’t bother. Ya don’t just make 7 consecutive Pro Bowls as a teams coverage player—just doesn’t happen. Unless you’re special. And special gets a gold jacket.
Unless Tasker gets in before him, Slater – if indeed enshrined – would become the first primary special teams coverage player to make the Hall of Fame. And despite the kicking game being underrepresented in Canton, Slater actually has a pretty solid case; his Pro Bowl résumé being just one part of it. He has also been part of so far two Super Bowl winning teams, for example.
Furthermore, Slater is generally seen as the top special teamer of his era (this year's Pro Bowl vote is another example of that) and has also received the prestigious Bart Starr Man of the Year Award last season for his work off the field. On top of that, he also has the name recognition on his side as the son of Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater.
All in all, it would not be a surprise to see the younger Slater receive a gold jacket as well – on top of the red one he surely will receive once he gets inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. And with all that in mind, what do you think: Will Matthew Slater make the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Will Matthew Slater make the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day?
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