Matthew Slater
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Matthew Slater

Matthew Slater
refer to caption
Slater with the New England Patriots in 2011
No. 18 - New England Patriots
Position:Special teamer
Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1985-09-09) September 9, 1985 (age 35)
Orange, California
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Servite (Anaheim, California)
NFL Draft:2008 / Round: 5 / Pick: 153
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Total tackles:161
Forced fumbles:1
Total return yards:637
Receiving yards:46
Rushing attempts:2
Rushing yards:11
Total touchdowns:1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Matthew Wilson Slater (born September 9, 1985) is an American football special teamer for the New England Patriots. He played college football at UCLA, and was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. A three-time Super Bowl champion, Slater has made nine Pro Bowls as a special teamer gunner and is widely recognized to be one of the NFL's premier players at that position.

Early years

Slater is the son of former NFL offensive tackle and Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, and Annie Slater. He was born in Long Beach, California, and has a brother named David.

He lettered in football for two seasons for coach Larry Toner at Servite High School in Anaheim, California, where he was teammates with Ryan Kalil. He was an All-West selection by Prep Star and a three-star selection by He was also a two-time All-Serra League selection. As a junior, he made 23 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns. As a senior, he made 39 receptions for 707 yards and five touchdowns.[1][2]

In high school, Slater was also a standout track athlete. He tied for second at the CIF State meet in the 100 meters, with a time of 10.62 seconds, and fourth in the 200 meters, with a time of 21.39 seconds. His 4 × 100 metres relay team was CIF champion. He was selected 2003 Orange County Register Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year as a senior. He still holds school records in the 100 meters and 200 meters.[3]

College career

Slater attended the University of California, Los Angeles and majored in political science and history, while playing for the Bruins football team. As a freshman, he redshirted due to a turf toe injury. In 2004, as a second-year freshman, Slater appeared in games against Illinois, Arizona, and Stanford. As a sophomore in 2005 he was reserve wide receiver. He missed the first three games due to a stress fracture in his left leg. He played in two games but did not make a reception.[4]

In 2006, as a junior, Slater played 13 games, including two (Washington and Arizona) on defense. He excelled on kick coverage, specializing in big hits on kick returners to help minimize kick return yardage. In the year, he made nine tackles, including six solo tackles. As a senior, in 2007, Slater played in 13 games and made 25 tackles. He also returned kicks for the Bruins. He returned 34 kicks for a 29.0-yard average and 3 touchdowns which tied the lead in the nation and set the UCLA record. He also tied the Pac-10 season record, set by Anthony Davis in 1974. His 29.0-yard kickoff return average was first in the Pac-10 and 12th-best in the country. He was First-team All-Pac 10 selection as the kick returner. His 986 kickoff return yards were also a new UCLA single-season record.[4][5]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 11 in
(1.80 m)
195 lb
(88 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
All values from NFL Combine

2008 season

Slater was drafted in the fifth round with the 153rd overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, who traded up with Tampa Bay before drafting Slater. Matthew's father, Jackie Slater, was pleased with the selection and told the Boston Herald that he received phone calls from "scouts, administrators in the NFL who knew me and my son, and they said, 'Jackie, this could not be a better fit for your son to start being a pro football player.'"[6] Slater was one of two players selected in the 2008 Draft (the other being Chris Long), and the sixth in the history of the NFL Draft, who is a son of a Hall of Fame member. Slater played in 14 games in his rookie 2008 season, returning 11 kickoffs for 155 yards and recording 12 tackles on special teams.

2009 season

In the 2009 season, Slater was active for 14 games for the Patriots, recording six tackles on special teams, while recording one rush for six yards as a wide receiver. He also returned 11 kickoffs for 269 yards, a 24.5 average. He had a career-high 35-yard kickoff return in the regular-season finale at Houston. Slater also played in a reserve role at wide receiver and on special teams coverage units in the postseason game vs. the Baltimore Ravens. In that game, he had two kickoff returns for 46 yards and one special teams tackle.

2010 season

In 2010, Slater did not record any offensive or defensive statistics, and did not return any kicks or punts, but he led the team with 21 special teams tackles in 15 games played.[7]

2011 season

In the 2011 season, Slater was voted to be the Special Teams Captain by his teammates.[8][9]

Slater created a niche as a special teams force, leading the Patriots with 17 regular season special teams tackles in 2011; however, he had a presence in all three phases throughout the 2011 season. In the season opener against the Miami Dolphins, Slater made the Patriots' first big play of the season catching a 46-yard reception from Tom Brady, (which remains his only career reception) and set the team up for the Patriots' first touchdown of the season.[10] Slater returned four kickoffs for 68 yards (average of 17.0 yards per return).[11] He significantly contributed in the defensive backfield, and started in three games as safety. In his defensive start against the Indianapolis Colts, he forced a fumble and finished the game with a team high six tackles.[12] In the post season AFC Divisional Playoff game, Slater had 1 special team tackle.

Slater was selected for the 2012 Pro Bowl and the 2011 Pro Football Writers Association (PFW/PFWA) All-Pro teams including All-NFL and All-AFC as a special teamer.[13][14][15][16] The Slaters are one of five active father-son families selected to at least one Pro Bowl apiece. The others are Gill and Jairus Byrd; Archie and Eli Manning; Archie and Peyton Manning; Clay and Clay Matthews; and Howie and Kyle Long.[17] The Patriots reached Super Bowl XLVI, Slater's first appearance in the Super Bowl, but lost 21-17 to the New York Giants.

2012 season

Slater, who became a free agent after the 2011 season, signed a three-year contract to return to the Patriots in 2012.[18] He was again voted as Special Teams Captain and voted to be the team's player representative to the NFL Players Association.[19][20] He was named to the Pro Bowl and the 2012 PFW/PFWA All-Pro for the lone AFC special teamer position for the second straight season.[21][22]

2013 season

In his sixth season with the Patriots, Slater continued to be a reliable captain and inspirational leader on and off the field.[23] He had 14 regular season special-teams tackles, which was the second-highest on the team, despite missing four games early in the season due to injury. His on-field performance led to a third straight Pro Bowl nod.

2014 season

On November 26, 2014, it was reported that Slater signed a two-year contract extension to remain with the Patriots through the 2016 season.[24] Slater, again, was voted All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl at the special teams position. It was his fourth straight selection to the Pro Bowl, and his 3rd All-Pro nod. Slater earned a Super Bowl ring as the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX.

2015 season

Slater was once again a standout special teams player. He earned his fifth Pro Bowl at the special teams position. His father is a seven-time Pro-Bowler, and with 13 Pro Bowl nods between them, the Slaters are the second-most nominated father/son in the NFL (only Archie and Peyton Manning have more Pro Bowl nominations).[25][26]

2016 season

Slater warms up before a game in 2016

On August 31, 2016, Slater signed a one-year contract extension with the Patriots through 2017.[27] Slater continued to be a standout on special teams. On December 20, Slater earned his sixth Pro Bowl nomination. The Slaters now held the most Pro Bowl nods of an active father-son pair with 13. He was also named First-team All-Pro as a special teamer for the fourth time in his career. On January 4, 2017, Slater was announced as the winner of the Bart Starr Award, given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field. His father received this honor in 1996, and together they became the first father-son pair to be honored with this prestigious award.[28] Slater helped the Patriots finish with a 14-2 record. On February 5, 2017, Slater was part of the Patriots team that won Super Bowl LI. In the game, the Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-28 in overtime.[29] Slater had a role as special teams captain and successfully called the coin toss before overtime began.[30]

2017 season

Slater was inactive for the first four games of 2017, recovering from a hamstring injury. He returned in Week 5, but missed Weeks 11-13 with the hamstring injury. Slater was named to a record seven consecutive Pro Bowls, which tied Steve Tasker for the most special teams Pro Bowl honors in NFL history.[31] Slater did not play in the Pro Bowl because his team made it to Super Bowl LII. The Patriots failed to repeat as champions after losing 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

2018 season

On March 20, 2018, Slater re-signed with the Patriots on a two-year contract.[32][33] Slater won his third Super Bowl when the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.

2019 season

Slater in a game against the Washington Redskins

On September 29, 2019, in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, Slater scored his first career touchdown on an 11-yard blocked punt return.[34] In Week 12, Slater had his first career blocked punt, which led to an offensive touchdown, in a 13-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys, earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[35] Slater was named to his eighth Pro Bowl, breaking Steve Tasker's record for the most special teams Pro Bowl honors in NFL history.[36]

2020 season

On March 13, 2020, Slater signed a two-year contract extension with the Patriots.[37] With Tom Brady's departure, Slater became longest active member of the Patriots.[38] On December 21, 2020, Slater was named to the 2020 Pro Bowl, extending his own NFL record for most special teams Pro Bowl honors, with nine selections.[39]

Personal life

Slater is married to Shahrzad Slater.[40] They have three children together.[41] Slater is a Christian.[42]

In 2013, Slater was awarded the New England Patriots 11th Ron Burton Community Service Award by owner Robert Kraft for his strong commitment to community service and leadership. Slater is one of the team's most active community participants, regularly participating in the team's organized community events.[43]

Slater is also the United Way representative on the New England Patriots, and is working with organizations in the greater Boston area to recruit one million volunteers[when?] as part of the wider Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism Campaign.[44][45]

On October 25, 2016, Slater hosted a "pop up" fundraiser to benefit Hurricane Matthew victims. He raised over $60,000 for Samaritan's Purse to assist in their efforts in the Carolinas and Haiti after the devastating hurricane barreled through those regions.[46]

See also


  1. ^ Connolly, Kenny (August 21, 2013). "NFL's Matthew Slater is making a name for himself". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "High Schools: Southern Section Football Roundup". September 22, 2001. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Records". Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Matt Slater". Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "Matt Slater". Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ Guregian, Karen (April 30, 2008). "Patriots' Slater makes dad proud". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ Reiss, Mike (January 5, 2012). "Slater leads way on special teams". ESPN. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Blakely, A.Sherrod (August 9, 2011). "Slater truly a special captain". New England Cable News. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ Scalavino, Erik (September 8, 2011). "Captains revealed, with some surprises; Thu. notes". New England Cable News. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ Kenyon, Paul (September 12, 2011). "Patriots Journal: Slater snares his first regular-season catch". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ "Matthew Slater: Career Stats". National Football League. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ Santoro, Tony (December 7, 2011). "Matthew Slater: Can He Be the Answer at Safety for the New England Patriots?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ Reiss, Mike (December 27, 2011). "Patriots Pro Bowl analysis". ESPN. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ Author, None (December 27, 2011). "2012 Pro Bowl Rosters". National Football League. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ Staff, PFW (January 16, 2012). "2011 All-NFL team". Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ "2011 All-AFC team". Pro Football Weekly. January 17, 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^ Price, Christopher (December 28, 2011). "Like father, like son: Jackie Slater ecstatic for Matthew's Pro Bowl berth". WEEI-FM. Retrieved 2012.
  18. ^ Patriots, New England (March 15, 2012). "Patriots re-sign WR Matthew Slater; Sign DT Marcus Harrison". Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "Patriots Name Six 2012 Team Captains". CBS Boston. September 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ "Tom Brady steps down as Patriots' player rep, Matt Light also relinquishes role". Boston Herald. September 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ "2013 Pro Bowl Rosters: AFC, NFC". NFL. December 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ Arkush, Dan (January 10, 2013). "PFW/PFWA 2012 All-NFL team". Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ Howe, Jeff (January 2, 2014). "Matthew Slater discusses new role in breaking down team". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ Yates, Field (November 26, 2014). "Pats extend Slater through 2016". Retrieved 2014.
  25. ^ Smith, Michael David (November 26, 2012). "Manning, Matthews, Slater following their fathers to the Pro Bowl". Retrieved 2014.
  26. ^ Smith, Christopher (December 23, 2015). "Patriots' Matthew Slater two Pro Bowl selections shy of dad Jackie; 'I'll never be as good as my dad'".
  27. ^ Orr, Conor. "Matthew Slater inks 1-year extension with Patriots".
  28. ^ "Matthew Slater wins 2017 Bart Starr Award". Archived from the original on January 6, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ "Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons - February 5th, 2017". Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ King, Peter (February 6, 2017). "New England Patriots rally to win Super Bowl 51 in OT". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ "NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl rosters". December 19, 2017.
  32. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 20, 2018). "Matthew Slater to re-sign with New England Patriots".
  33. ^ "New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII". NFL. Retrieved 2019.
  34. ^ Hass, Trevor. "Watch Matthew Slater score his 1st career touchdown". Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ Gordon, Grant (November 27, 2019). "Lamar Jackson, Chris Godwin among players of the week".
  36. ^ "8 Pro Bowls are nice, but Patriots' Slater keeps bigger goals in perspective". 98.5 The Sports Hub - Boston's Home For Sports. December 19, 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  37. ^ Reiss, Mike (March 13, 2020). "Sources: Matthew Slater returning to Patriots on 2-year deal". ESPN.
  38. ^ "Here are the longest-tenured Patriots after Tom Brady, Stephen Gostkowski exits". RSN. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ Mason, Chris (December 21, 2020). "Stephon Gilmore, Jake Bailey, Matthew Slater chosen as Patriots Pro Bowlers in 2021". Masslive. Retrieved 2020.
  40. ^ "Matthew vs. Matthew: Matthew Slater hosts fundraiser to help relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew". Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ "Patriots Special Teams Legend Matthew Slater Missed Thursday's Game for Birth of Child". Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "Patriots Pro Bowler Matthew Slater praises Eagles players for their faith in Christ". Retrieved 2020.
  43. ^ "Matthew Slater receives 2013 Ron Burton Community Service Award". Patriots. August 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  44. ^ "New England Patriots Receiver Matthew Slater Announced as Local Member of United Way Team NFL". United Way of America. September 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  45. ^ Laguarda, New Ignacio (September 24, 2012). "Patriots' Slater gets Waltham Boys & Girls Club kids pumped up for reading". Retrieved 2012.
  46. ^ "Matthew vs. Matthew: Matthew Slater hosts fundraiser to help relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew". All Access. October 27, 2016. Retrieved 2017.

External links

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