NFL Players Association records show New England special teams captain Matthew Slater has signed a two-year contract extension.
Slater called the extension “humbling” on Wednesday but declined to go into details. The Patriots don’t announce contract extensions.
The total value of the deal is $4 million.
Slater said he’d rather talk about his team’s game on Sunday against Green Bay.
“I’m just so thankful for what the Lord has done in my life and my career, developing me here as a player and as a man; and I’m thankful for an opportunity to continue that development,” Slater said. “And I’m thankful to the coach staff, Coach (Bill) Belichick and this organization for believing in me and appreciating a player like me and guys like myself across this team.”
The 29-year-old wide receiver has been to the last three Pro Bowls. He has played offense and defense, but he’s known for his special teams play.
“It’s huge. Slate jumps off the screen,” said safety Devin McCourty. “I don’t care what unit you watch — whether he’s being triple teamed on kickoffs and still able to get to the ball, he just jumps off the screen every time he’s on the field. It’s a credit to the work he’s put in.”
McCourty says it wasn’t always like that for Slater.
“It was a steady progress where he just kept working and having him around here is great because he’s a role model — for everybody on the team — of working hard and becoming great at your craft,” he said.
Belichick said Slater works well with younger players as well as his peers.
“He’s very well respected in the locker room, not just by the players, but I’d say by the entire organization, just by the way he goes about his job, how committed he is to the team, how dependable he is, his work ethic, his attitude, his toughness,” he said. “He’s really pretty much a model player. I’d love to have 53 guys like him.”
Times have certainly changed for special teamers, and the Patriots have had two of the best in Slater and Larry Izzo.
“I think that phase of the game has always played a role in teams being successful and I think here we have a coaching staff and people that understand that and appreciate that,” Slater said. “I think that’s part of the reason why we’ve had success over the years.”
NOTES: The Patriots added TE Xavier Gamble and LS Charley Hughlett to the practice squad, releasing LB Deontae Skinner and DB Daxton Swanson.