Why Matthew Slater is a home run hire for the Patriots

When you hire the best, you hire the ... BEST!
New York Jets v New England Patriots
New York Jets v New England Patriots / Billie Weiss/GettyImages

The New England Patriots haven't always made, shall we say, the best decisions of late. There are several that should be dismissed out-of-hand as perhaps ill-advised. One, of course, should be termed obtuse, abominable, or otherwise foolhardy. That being, of course, the jettisoning of one Tom Brady in 2020 (actually 2019).

However, the team occasionally makes some good decisions. In 2000, they drafted that little-recognized but highly potentially influential quarterback named Brady (who?) from Michigan with the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. Yet, lately, Patriot's decision-making has been questionable, at best. (Although bringing TB12 back to play wouldn't be one of them!)

After brooming Brady in 2019, they have allowed a neophyte general manager wannabe, Eliot Wolf, to conduct the most critical offseason and draft in 30 years. However, Wolf might perform well (his free agency was under-whelming) in the draft, but it's a very risky decision.

But now, like a lightning bolt out of the blue, the languid Patriots' organization (or perhaps one of its recent solid hires, Jerod Mayo) has done something really praiseworthy. They've made a hire that maybe all of the NFL cognoscenti and perhaps all of Patriots Nation will say is fantastic. They've retained in a top position, one of their all-time players, recently-retired Matthew Slater. Huzzah!

Hiring Matthew Slater is a score for the hapless Patriots

Once in a while, a franchise that has lost its way (after it frankly discovered it by accident) gets it right. This time, it's not in a player like Tom Brady but in a coach or an advisor like Matthew Slater. The team has hired Mathew as an advisor to head Coach Jerod Mayo. Hiring one of the most popular players in a team's history can never be a bad idea, can it?

Slater checks all the boxes. He's been a star in Foxborough, winning Super Bowls. He's a career-long Patriot who had a long career here! He's among the all-time best special teamers in NFL history and the best ever in New England. That's for starters.

Matthew Slater is also one of the most popular players ever to don the blue, silver, red, and white uniform (or any other color Pats uniform, for that matter). He stands with Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Julian Edelman, Gronk, John Hannah, Jim Nance, Stanley Morgan, Mike Haynes, Steve Grogan, Jim Lee Hunt, and not too many others in the Pantheon of all-time Patriot greats.

Matt Slater is one of the best decisions the Patriots ever made

Patriot history is littered with dozens of draft picks who flopped in recent years. One of those who didn't is Matthew Slater. Slate was a fifth-round pick as a receiver out of UCLA in 2008, the same year the Pats drafted Jerod Mayo in the first round. Those two players alone made that a great draft.

Slater was a 10-time Pro Bowler with two first-team All-Pro awards also to his credit. He's routinely acknowledged as one of, if not the best, special teams players ever. He certainly can be spoken in the same breath as other greats such as Buffalo's Steve Tasker, Detroit's Dick "Night Train Lane," and Billy 'White Shoes" Johnson of Houston, not to mention former Patriot greats Mike Haynes and Julian Edelman, two of the best punt-returners in NFL history among their other accomplishments.

Matthew Slater is a lock first-year Pats' Hall of Famer with its red jacket. Additionally, if the Pro Football Hall of Fame has any sense whatsoever, he'll be inducted there and receive their yellow jacket, as well. When you're the best of the best, you deserve the recognition.

Add to all those accolades that Matthew Slater looks to be one of the most wonderful people you'd ever want to meet, and there is lots to applaud Jerod Mayo for in this hire. Couple that with the respect held for Slater around the league, and you have the makings of a free-agency recruiter par excellence. He should be drafted to undertake that role immediately.

That's it; a refreshing article here for a change, applauding the Patriots for a great decision to hire Matthew Slater. There haven't been too many laudable actions of late. It's nice to offer proper kudos when they're deserved.

The hope is that the Patriots will follow that example in the 2024 draft. Draft the best players available (on offense this year, please!), the best persons, and the best teammates, like Matthew Slater, and you just can't go wrong.

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