Matthew Slater talks about Sunday's game potentially being the final game of his career
As we near another final game of a Patriots season, much of the conversation has focused solely on Bill Belichick's future. But he's not the only person who may be on the sideline for the final time on Sunday.
Over the last few years, Matthew Slater has openly discussed his career coming to a close, and it looks like this might be the last time we see him suited up in a Patriots uniform. He joins a long list of incredible players who have retired in recent years, especially ones who were pillars of the dynasty years, and Slater is one of the best ever.
Because his potential pending retirement will be on the minds of many during Sunday's game, he was asked how he feels as the game gets closer. Slater revealed some advice he received from another Patriot great, Devin McCourty, who expressed the need to enjoy the moment because it won't last forever.
“I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can – take it all in, cherish the moments with the guys,. The reality is I don’t know what my future holds. I just want to cherish every minute of it. I’ve talked to guys who’ve crossed over, so to speak, D-Mac and (people) like that and they’re just like, ‘Hey, man, enjoy all of it. You know, when it’s gone, it’s gone.’ I’m going to enjoy it and try not to think too much about what lies ahead.”
It's great advice, especially since it hasn't been the most fun in recent years. And it's probably a lot easier said than done, simply enjoying the game for what it is and not thinking about the difficult decision to hang up the cleats finally.
McCourty hopes the stadium will be packed with fans who will celebrate Slater's career if it is his last game, not just because of the great player he is and was but also because of the incredible leader and person he is, too.
"If it is, I hope that stadium is packed with a lot of love, a lot of energy, for what he brought to that team for 16 years because there'll be anybody like him ever to walk in that building. I hope they do send him out the right way if it is indeed his last game."
Patriots fans are generally good at showing up in moments like this, so hopefully they will be there to see the team beat the Jets again and give Slater the fantastic farewell he deserves.