Patriots captain Matt Slater returns for 16th NFL season – Boston News, Weather, Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – After the New England Patriots’ season ended last month, Matt Slater said he gave everything he had in his 15 years in the NFL.

But now retirement can wait.

The Patriots announced Friday that the 37-year-old and two-time All-Pro has elected to return in 2023 for his 16th season.

“I thank God for His continued grace and provision throughout my career,” Slater said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to play under the guidance of coach (Bill) Belichick. Thank you to the Kraft family and the entire Patriots organization for making it possible for me to continue to pursue my childhood dream.”

A fifth-round draft pick from New England in 2008 and the son of Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, he has become a leader in the locker room and an embodiment of Belichick’s “Patriot Way” culture. Along the way, Slater was selected 12 times as a special team captain and won three Super Bowl rings.

“Matt’s incredible career is a testament to his preparation and determination to succeed,” said Belichick. “We are thrilled that he will play this season.”

He is the longest-serving player on the 2022 roster. He has played 222 games and is the runner-up in games for the Patriots to Tom Brady. He hasn’t missed a game in the past five seasons.

Slater finished last season with 13 special team tackles. His 11 seasons of double-digit special teams tackles are the most in the NFL since 2000.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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