Emotional Slater ‘not sure' about future plans after Patriots lose to Bills


Matthew Slater was very emotional in his postgame press conference following the New England Patriots' loss to the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's Week 18 regular season finale.

The Patriots lost 35-23 and were eliminated from playoff contention in the AFC as a result. It also might have been Slater's final NFL game. 

He was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft and became one of the best special teams players in league history. His leadership on and off the field also has made a tremendous impact on the historic success New England has achieved -- including three Super Bowl titles -- since he joined the team.

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So, is this it for Slater?

"I'm not sure," Slater said when asked if Sunday was his last game. "And I don't think it's fair to the guys in that locker room to just talk about my personal situation."

Slater also talked about his father, Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater, and how he impacted his career.

"I've given it everything I've had. My dad told me when I was young, if I was going to play the game, there's a certain way to play it and a certain way to go about it," Slater explained. "I've tried to make him proud and represent his name the right way because that's how he did it. That's what it's always been about for me."

The 37-year-old veteran has a Hall of Fame-worthy resume that includes 10 Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro first team selections. 

"I don't know that there's ever been or ever going to be a better player than Matt Slater as an overall special teams player," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said last week.

The final question for Slater was about teammate Devin McCourty, who also might have played in his last game Sunday.

"No one I've ever played with has impacted my life more," an emotional Slater said. "Simple as that."

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