Slater in the 2011 NFL season.
No. 18 New England Patriots
|Wide receiver / Safety / Special teamer|
|Date of birth:September 9, 1985|
|Place of birth: Baldwin Park, California|
|NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 5 / Pick: 153|
|Debuted in 2008 for the New England Patriots|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2013
Matthew Wilson Slater (born September 9, 1985) is an American football wide receiver, safety, gunner, and special teams player for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft after playing college football for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was selected as the starting AFC special teamer for the 2012 and 2013 Pro Bowls.
Slater was born in Baldwin Park, California. He lettered in football for two seasons for coach Larry Toner at Servite High School in Anaheim, California, where he was teammates with Ryan Kalil. He was an All-West selection by Prep Star and a three-star selection by Rivals.com. He was also a two-time All-Serra League selection.
As a senior, Slater made 39 receptions for 707 yards and five touchdowns. As a junior, he made 23 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Also performed in track finishing tied for second at the CIF State meet in the 100 meter dash (10.67) and fourth in the 200 meter dash (21.39). His 4 x 100 m relay team was CIF champion. He was selected 2003 Orange County Register Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year as a senior. He still holds school records in the 100 (10.62) and 200 meters (21.39).
Slater attended UCLA and majored in political science and history. As freshman he redshirted due to a turf toe injury. In 2004, as a second-year freshman, Slater appeared in games against Illinois, Arizona and Stanford. As a sophomore in 2005 he was reserve wide receiver. He missed the first three games due to a stress fracture in his left leg. He played in two games but did not make a reception.
In 2006, as a junior, Slater played 13 games, including two (Washington and Arizona) on defense. He excelled on kick coverage, specializing on big hits on kick returners to help minimize kick return yardage. In the year, he made nine tackles, including six solos.
As a senior, in 2007, Slater played in 13 games, made 25 tackles. He also returned kicks for the Bruins. He returned 34 kicks for a 29.0-yard average and 3 touchdowns which tied the lead in the nation and set the UCLA record. He also tied the Pac-10 season record, set by Anthony Davis in 1974. His 29.0-yard kickoff return average was first in the Pac-10 and 12th best in the country. He was First-team All-Pac 10 selection as the kick returner. His 986 kickoff return yards were also a new UCLA single-season record.
New England Patriots
Slater was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, who traded up with Tampa Bay before drafting Slater. Matthew's father, Jackie Slater, was pleased with the selection and told the Boston Herald that he got phone 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.'" Slater was one of two players selected in the 2008 Draft (the other being Chris Long), and the sixth in the history of the NFL Draft, who is a son of a Hall of Fame member. Slater played in 14 games in his rookie 2008 season, returning 11 kickoffs for 155 yards and recording 12 tackles on special teams.
In 2009, Slater was active for 14 games for the Patriots, recording six tackles on special teams, while recording one rush for six yards as a wide receiver. He also returned 11 kickoffs for 269 yards, a 24.5 average. He had a career-high 35-yard kickoff return in the regular-season finale at Houston. Slater also played in a reserve role at wide receiver and on special teams coverage units in the postseason game vs. the Baltimore Ravens. In that game, he had two kickoff returns for 46 yards and one special teams tackle. In 2010, Slater did not record any offensive or defensive statistics, and did not return any kicks or punts, but led the team with 21 special teams tackles in 15 games played.
Slater created a niche as a special teams force, leading the Patriots with 17 regular season special teams tackles in 2011; however, he had a presence in all three phases throughout the 2011 season. In the season opener against the Miami Dolphins, Slater made the Patriots’ first big play of the season catching a 46-yard reception from Tom Brady, and set the team up for the Patriots’ first touchdown of the season. Slater returned 4 kickoffs for 68 yards (average of 17.0 yards per return). He significantly contributed in the defensive backfield, and started in three games as safety. In his defensive start against the Indianapolis Colts, he forced a fumble and finished the game with a team high six tackles. In the post season AFC Divisional Playoff game, Slater had 1 special team tackle.
Slater was selected for the 2012 Pro Bowl and the 2011 Pro Football Writers Association (PFW/PFWA) All-Pro teams including All-NFL and All-AFC as a special teamer. The Slaters are one of five active father-son families selected to at least one Pro Bowl apiece. The others are Gill and Jairus Byrd; Archie, Eli, and Peyton Manning; Clay and Clay Matthews; and Kellen and Kellen Winslow.
Slater, who became a free agent after the 2011 season, signed a three-year contract with the Patriots in 2012. He was again voted as Special Teams Captain and voted to be the team's player representative to the NFL Players Association. He was named to the Pro Bowl and the 2012 PFW/PFWA All-Pro for the lone AFC special teamer position for the second straight season.
Matthew is also the United Way representative on the New England Patriots, and is working with organizations in the greater Boston area to recruit 1 million volunteers this year as part of the wider Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism Campaign. 
- 2012 Pro Bowl
- 2013 Pro Bowl
- National Football League team captains
- 2008 New England Patriots season
- 2009 New England Patriots season
- 2010 New England Patriots season
- 2011 New England Patriots season
- 2012 New England Patriots season
- Gunner (American football)
- UCLA Bruins football
- 2007 College Football All-America Team
- List of second generation National Football League players
- Jackie Slater
- Reiss, Mike (December 27, 2011). "Patriots Pro Bowl analysis". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- "2012 Pro Bowl Rosters". NFL. December 27, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
- "2013 Pro Bowl Rosters: AFC, NFC". NFL. December 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
- Guregian, Karen (April 30, 2008). "Patriots’ Slater makes dad proud". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Reiss, Mike (January 5, 2012). "Slater leads way on special teams". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- Blakely, A.Sherrod (August 9, 2011). "Slater truly a special captain". New England Cable News. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
- Scalavino, Erik (September 8, 2011). "Captains revealed, with some surprises; Thu. notes". New England Cable News. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
- Kenyon, Paul (September 12, 2011). "Patriots Journal: Slater snares his first regular-season catch". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "Matthew Slater: Career Stats". National Football League. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
- Santoro, Tony (December 7, 2011). "Matthew Slater: Can He Be the Answer at Safety for the New England Patriots?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Author, None (December 27, 2011). "2012 Pro Bowl Rosters". National Football League. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Staff, PFW (January 16, 2012). "2011 All-NFL team". Pro Football Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
- Staff, PFW (January 17, 2012). "2011 All-AFC team". Pro Football Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
- Price, Christopher (December 28, 2011). "Like father, like son: Jackie Slater ecstatic for Matthew's Pro Bowl berth". WEEI. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Patriots, New England (March 15, 2012). "Patriots re-sign WR Matthew Slater; Sign DT Marcus Harrison". Patriots.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "Patriots Name Six 2012 Team Captains". CBS Boston. September 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- "Tom Brady steps down as Patriots’ player rep, Matt Light also relinquishes role". Boston Herald. September 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- Arkush, Dan (January 10, 2013). "PFW/PFWA 2012 All-NFL team". Pro Football Weekly. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- Author, Anonymous (December 15, 2011). "Matthew Slater prays for Tim Tebow because ‘he’s putting himself out there on a limb". WEEI. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
- Paoletti, Mary (January 11, 2012). "Slater a fan of Tebow... the Christian". Comcast SportsNet New England. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
- "New England Patriots Receiver Matthew Slater Announced as Local Member of United Way Team NFL". United Way of America. September 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- Laguarda, New Ignacio (September 24, 2012). "Patriots' Slater gets Waltham Boys & Girls Club kids pumped up for reading". Wickedlocal.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09.