Four New England Patriots have been selected as captains for the 2016 season as the team gets ready for the season opener on Sunday night.

Rob Gronkowski and Dont'a Hightower were selected with the honor for the first time of their respective careers, while Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty were both nabbed again to be captains.  Both Slater and McCourty have been captains on the Pats since 2011.

Both Tom Brady and Rob Ninkovich were left off the list as captains entering the season after both men will start the season of a four game suspension.  Ninkovich was selected to represent the defense in 2015 while Tom Brady had led the offense as a captain since 2012.

Gronkowski was recently honored with the Ron Burton Community Service Award last week.