New England Patriots special-teams ace Matthew Slater is mulling his NFL future ahead of an offseason that could be full of change for the Patriots.
Retirement rumors and even potential coaching rumors have been swirling. Slater addressed his potential plans during an appearance on Tim Hatch Live.
“It’s something that we’re still very much praying through, and I’ve got to be honest, it’s one of the most difficult decisions of my life,” said Slater. “You know you have a passion and a love for something, but things change in life. Things change, and it’s not just about what I want now. I have to consider what Shahrzad wants. I have to consider what’s best for our children.
“So, we’re praying through it. I’m not closing the door. I’m not saying, ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay.’ I’m going to take my time and hopefully hear from the Lord on it.”
Slater would be coming back for a 16th season in the NFL. He has had an accomplished career that’s included 10 Pro Bowl nominations, three super Bowls, and two First-Team All-Pro nominations. He has been a key linchpin for the Patriots’ special teams unit and both a reliable and dependable playmaker throughout his entire career.
He was a late-round gem, selected in the fifth round with the 153rd overall pick of the 2008 NFL draft. Nevertheless, he has been a staple of the Patriots organization and one of their most important players as the franchise itself undergoes change.
One of those changes has been overhauling the offensive coaching staff. Coaching has been brought up before to Slater as a potential post-retirement activity. However, this time, he left the door open for the possibility he’d return to New England in an off-the-field role.
“I will always consider myself a New England Patriot,” said Slater. “So, if I can serve in the role of a coach, administrator on the staff, that’s something that I would welcome with open arms. We’ll see. There’s always change in football, so we’ll see what plays out.
“But I think the Lord has given me so much and taught me so much, it’d be a shame just to end with me. I’d love to continue to pass those things along to the next generation.”
Slater’s expertise and knowledge could be beneficial on special teams, as he is one of the best special teams players in the organization’s history. His knowledge could help New England as they enter into a new era of Patriots football. Special teams in particular have been a sore point for the organization over the past two seasons.
It will be interesting to see what Slater decides to do, in whatever capacity he chooses. As for now, his next step remains up in the air.