One of the last connections to the dynasty Patriots called it a career yesterday as special teams ace Matthew Slater announced his retirement, ending a 16-year NFL career spent entirely in Foxborough.

Slater, son of Hall of Fame lineman Jackie Slater, entered the league in 2008 as a 5th round draft pick by the Pats at No. 153 overall. By 2011 he had established himself as one of the best special teamers in the game when he was named to his first Pro Bowl, an honor he would receive in 10-of-11 seasons between 2011 and 2021.

The two-time All-Pro played in 239 regular season games and another 25 in the postseason while winning three Super Bowl titles.

He meant so much to the organization that they turned his final game into a 7-minute mini movie, not the treatment the average special teamer receives.

So, what's next for Slater? Well, if you ask his former coach Bill Belichick, he thinks the next stop in Slater's football journey should be joining his dad in Canton. Slater may have no bigger fan than Belichick, who holds him in the same regard as other greats of the game, saying he got to coach 3 GOAT's (Brady on offense, Lawrence Taylor on D and Slater on special teams).

While Bill has long been campaigning for Slater's Hall of Fame legitimacy, I'm not sure the voters will see it the same. While he's highly regarded in football circles, Slater would be the first non-kicker special teams player to be enshrined, so he's got his work cut out for him.

But if any specialist has the resume to do it, it's Slater. What do you think? Is Slater worthy of a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

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