While some NFL fans have never heard of Matthew Slater, the Patriots realize how important their special teams ace is to the team. Rather than risk allowing him to reach free agency next year, the team has agreed to a one-year deal with Slater worth $1.8 million according to Field Yates for ESPN.
Ben Volin for the Boston Globe adds it’s more like a two-year deal that will pay Slater a total of $2.8 million across this season and next. His base salary will be $1 million and 900 thousand, with the opportunity to earn up to $250 thousand in incentives, presumably if he continues to make the Pro Bowl.
Which is not an unlikely proposition. While a wide receiver by trade, Slater has only caught one pass in his NFL career, yet has been invited to the NFL’s all-star game for five straight seasons. The soon-to-be 31-year-old has made a niche as a specialist and has yet to show signs of slowing down.
Finding a way to keep Slater is the kind of underrated move the Patriots make to stay relevant season after season. His contributions may not be flashy, but consistently quality special teams are a big reason why this is always a tough team to beat.