New England Patriots

Tom Brady, other Patriots alumni react to Matthew Slater's retirement

"Thank you Slate for changing the game!"

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It's been an offseason of monumental change in New England.

Just over a month after the Patriots parted ways with legendary head coach Bill Belichick, team captain and special teams ace Matthew Slater announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

Slater spent his entire 16-year career in New England, earning 10 Pro Bowl nods and eight All-Pro honors as one of the best special teams gunners in league history. He helped the Patriots win three Super Bowl titles and was a strong locker room presence who took over as New England's de facto leader following Tom Brady's exit in 2020.

Slater's outsized impact in New England is reflected in the statements that Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Jerod Mayo gave Tuesday following his announcement.

Several of Slater's former teammates chimed in with tributes to the 38-year-old, as well. Brady, who was Slater's teammate for 12 years in New England, called the special teams ace a "true champion" and "the best teammate and an even better man" via his Instagram story.

Here are a few other notable reactions from current and former Patriots players who commented on Slater's initial retirement post on Instagram:

Ex-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: โคโคโคone of a kindโคโคโค

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones: Thank you Slate for changing the game!! Your legacy is forever, both on and off the field!! #Legend

Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe: Appreciate ya for everything 18! Grateful for the last 2 years with you!๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson Sr.: Appreciate you Captain 18 you the ๐Ÿ man words can't express honestly. I'm forever grateful to share the field w/ you ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

Patriots defensive tackle Davon Godchaux: ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ (Six GOAT emojis)

Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona: Hall of Fame player, teammate, leader, and person. Thank you for everything 18!

Patriots special teamer Chris Board: Blessed to have been a part of your story ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ

Ex-Patriots offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer: A true blessing to call you a friend and teammate! One of the best who has ever done it.

Ex-Patriots special teamer Justin Bethel: One of a kind! Congrats on retirement and an amazing career!

Ex-Patriots safety Adrian Phillips: Thank you for everything Slate, see you in the Hall โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’™

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