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New England Patriots moved up with Tampa Bay to select Slater in the fifth round (153) of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Jackie Slater, Matthew’s father, was overjoyed with the decision and told the Boston Herald that he had received calls from “scouts, administrators in the NFL who knew me and my son, and they said, ‘Jackie, this could not be a better fit for your son to start being a pro football player.'”

Matthew Slater
Matthew Slater

Slater is the second son of a Hall of Famer to be drafted by the NFL (the other being Chris Long in 2008), and the sixth in NFL history.

Slater returned 11 kickoffs for 155 yards and made 12 special teams tackles in his rookie season of 2008, during which he participated in 14 games.

Slater played in 14 games for the Patriots in 2009, making six tackles on special teams and gaining six yards on one rush. Also, he averaged 24.5 yards per return on the 11 kickoffs he took.

In the season-ending game against Houston, he returned a kickoff for a personal-best 35 yards. In the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, Slater saw action on special teams coverage units and as a reserve wide receiver.

He also made one special team tackle and returned two kickoffs for 46 yards in the game.

How many Pro Bowls does Matthew Slater have?

Matthew Slater has 10 Pro Bowls. Slater has spent most of his NFL career as a special teams player, and he is widely regarded as one of the league’s best gunners. With 10 selections to the Special Teams Pro Bowl and a spot on the first team of All-Pros twice, he is the all-time leader.

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