Special teams captain Matthew Slater is returning to the Patriots on a two-year deal, per source.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 20, 2018
You know, when it was reported that Matthew Slater was in visiting with the Pittsburgh Steelers a couple of days ago, I have to admit I was a little nervous. We all know Bill Belichick would rather let a player go one year too early instead of one year too late, and after the 32 year old Slater had trouble staying healthy last season, logging just 9 games, it wasn’t out of the question that the 7 time Bowler would be the latest victim of Belichick’s philosophy.
Luckily, the team and Slater were able to hash out a two year dear that could potentially cement Slater as a Patriot for life. While Slater is still one of the best special teams players in the league, let’s not over state his value on the field. While being him back as the team’s gunner is nice, his play on the field isn’t realistically being the Patriots back to another Super Bowl.
Where Slater will really help the team is in the locker room, where he has been a shining example of the Patriot Way for the past decade. His influence is especially important after this season, where for the first time in nearly two decades, serious rumors of unrest within the organization began seeping out to the media. Who knows how much validity there is to all this hubbub stirred up by the media, but I know having a leader like Matthew Slater back in the fold will help squelch any internal issues that may arise within the locker room.