Cam Newton looked like an MVP candidate in the New England Patriots’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. While the 31 teams that passed on signing him this offseason may have been surprised by that, Matthew Slater was not.
Slater, a longtime Patriots captain and veteran leader, gushed about Newton’s work ethic following the tough 35-30 loss. He said Newton was studying his playbook on the entire six-hour flight to Seattle last week.
There were some questions early on in the offseason about whether Newton would be able to get up to speed quick enough to start in Week 1. Jarrett Stidham was even considered the favorite to win the starting job at one point because of his familiarity with the offense, but that already seems like a distant memory.
Newton has looked healthy through two games with the Patriots. He completed 30-of-44 passes for 397 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Seattle. He has also run for 122 yards and four touchdowns thus far. Between the compliments from his teammates and what Bill Belichick said about his work ethic, it’s no surprise Newton appears to be at the top of his game.
Cam Newton is now a member of the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.
The New England Patriots lost the biggest star in their franchise history, but they still have some stable leadership among their players.
The Patriots re-signed Matthew Slater in free agency to a two-year deal reportedly worth around $2.6 million per season. Slater has been with the Patriots since being drafted by them in 2008 and is a long time special teams captain. With Brady gone, he could become a bigger voice in the locker room espousing the Patriot Way.
Slater said on a conference call with the media Monday that the team’s standard will not drop off without Brady.
“The standard doesn’t change at all,” Slater said Monday via The Boston Globe. “The pillars that we stand upon, they don’t change at all. I think if you go into the season with a defeatist mind-set, then you can’t expect to be successful. We’re not the victims here. We have a great opportunity, we have a lot of good football players, we have a tremendous coaching staff.”
Slater is an 8-time Pro Bowler and regarded as one of the best special teams players in the league, so his leadership example will probably be respected among the Patriots.
While we have no doubt that Slater will be able to keep the Patriot Way going, the big question is what kind of play the team will get from the quarterback position. So far, some players seem to be high on Jarrett Stidham.
The New England Patriots may be in the middle of tough negotiations with Tom Brady, but one of their franchise cornerstones is remaining with the team.
Matthew Slater has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Patriots, ESPN’s Field Yates reported on Friday.
Yates says the deal is similar to Slater’s last one, which averaged $2.6 million per year.
Slater, 34, has been with the Patriots since they drafted him in 2008. He was credited with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery in 16 games last season, as well as a touchdown. Slater is an 8-time Pro Bowler and regarded as one of the best special teams players in the league.
Matthew Slater is returning to New England despite a brief flirtation with the enemy.
The special teams ace got a two-year deal with the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Slater had visited the Pittsburgh Steelers over the weekend, which may have given New England somewhat of a scare.
Slater is the Patriots’ special teams captain and has made the Pro Bowl seven straight years as a special teams player. Even though his name doesn’t show up in the boxscore a ton, you get the sense that he is one of those glue-guys the Patriots would not have wanted to lose.
Slater has been with the Pats since being drafted by them in the 5th round in 2008.
Longtime New England Patriot Matthew Slater is threatening to pull a reverse James Harrison.
Slater is visiting with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, ESPN’s Field Yates reports.
Slater, a former fifth-round pick by the Patriots in 2008, has been with New England his entire career. He serves as the team’s special teams captain and has made seven Pro Bowls as a special teamer.
The 30-year-old has been limited to 22 games over the past two seasons due to a hamstring injury.
The best players in sports don’t always have the highest salaries, and the Super Bowl is no different. For every Fletcher Cox, Alshon Jeffery and Stephon Gilmore making the big bucks, there are guys who made about $10 million less per year and still make a huge impact. For some of those players, big paydays will be coming this offseason. For others, being a bargain is part of what makes them so great.
Here are the 10 players from Super Bowl LII who are the biggest bargains for their team. All salary figures come courtesy of Spotrac.com.
10. Trey Flowers, DE, Patriots
Base salary: $615,000
Cap hit: $754,733
On a team that struggles to get to the quarterback, Flowers has emerged as the best pass-rusher. A fourth-round pick in 2015, Flowers sat out his entire rookie season with an injury but has consistently produced since. He had 6.5 sacks in the regular season this year after piling up seven a year ago, and he added two forced fumbles and 45 total tackles in 2017. He also helped stuff the run late in a comeback win over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game. If New England wants to make Nick Foles uncomfortable early on Sunday, Flowers may be the guy they look to.
9. Ronald Darby, CB, Eagles
NFL superstars tend to receive many rewards, ranging from massive contracts to All-Pro nods and trips to the Pro Bowl. But in order to succeed at the highest level, all 32 teams still need role players and unsung heroes to help them along their journey.
Sometimes those role players receive the recognition they deserve — most often within the fan bases or cities in which they play. But frequently, they are not recognized the way they should be.
Each team has some hidden gems on their roster — here’s a look at one for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – Markus Golden, linebacker
Markus Golden is more overlooked than unknown, but at his current rate of development, he won’t be forgotten much longer. Golden finished the 2016 season with 53 total pressures, 41 run stops and 12.5 sacks. The 41 run stops were good for fourth-most among edge defenders in the NFL. Golden is in line for a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod in 2017 if he continues at this pace. If that happens, the secret will be out.
Atlanta Falcons – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle
Grady Jarrett was considered underrated in college and that remained true over his first two seasons with the Falcons. Even despite a strong performance in the Super Bowl, Jarrett hasn’t exactly seen his name in lights. If Atlanta didn’t choke the game away, perhaps that would be different, but for now, Jarrett and his 78.3 Pro Football Focus rating will continue to fly under the radar.
Matthew Slater could not escape the memes even though the New England Patriots’ poor decision to kickoff at the start of overtime was not his.
Slater, a team captain, elected to kick after winning the coin toss in overtime against the New York Jets. The Jets took the ball and scored, ending the game immediately.
Making the surreal scene even more unbelievable was that Slater seemed confused about the team’s decision to kick (it came out after the game that Coach Bill Belichick was responsible for the decision). The result was he got the Steve Harvey meme treatment:
The New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets 26-20 in overtime on Sunday following a mind-boggling decision to kick after winning the coin toss before the extra period.
Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater called heads and won the toss, but he elected to kick.
The New York Jets seemed shocked by the Patriots’ decision, but they happily received.
Here is a transcript of the conversation between Slater and official Clete Blakeman:
Slater said after the game that he was told to kick if the team won the toss, which they did. That proved to be a horrible choice.
Following a touchback on the kickoff, the Jets drove 80 yards and ended the game on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Eric Decker. The loss drops the Patriots to 12-3 on the season while the Jets improve to 10-5, further solidifying their wild card chances. The Patriots now lose ground in the race for the top seed in the AFC playoffs.