New England Patriots

Details on Matthew Slater's new full-time role with Patriots: Report

The longtime special teams ace will work closely with head coach Jerod Mayo.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Matthew Slater isn't going anywhere, after all.

The former New England Patriots special teams ace officially ended his NFL playing career in February by announcing his retirement. But as ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Sunday, Slater will remain employed by the Patriots after "accepting a full-time position" with the team.

"One source described his role as a 'right-hand man' to first-year head coach (Jerod) Mayo, providing Mayo a sounding board on football and team building, as well as assistance in 'people development,'" Reiss wrote of Slater's new job.

That description is a bit nebulous and perhaps could evolve over the course of the season. But it makes sense why Mayo would keep Slater around: He and Slater actually were members of the same 2008 NFL Draft class (Mayo was a first-round pick; Slater a fifth-round pick), and Slater was one of the most well-respected players in New England's locker room.

The Patriots have completely overhauled their coaching staff under Mayo, but Slater should help to provide at least some continuity, as well as a familiar face for returning veterans.

According to Reiss, Slater had "other opportunities" he could have pursued, but considering how highly Slater has spoken of his 16-year playing career in New England, it's not surprising at all that he's remaining in Foxboro.

Contact Us