Bill Belichick calls Matthew Slater ‘best core special teams player in NFL history’ in released statement

Former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick released a statement after Matthew Slater’s retirement on Tuesday.

Slater played in the NFL for 16 years, and all of those years came under Belichick, who once referred to him as the greatest special teams player of all time. The legendary coach gave Slater that nod once more in a released statement.

“Matthew Slater deserves every accolade someone could receive. He is a once in a lifetime person, and the best core special teams player in NFL history,” Belichick said in a statement, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “His daily, weekly, and yearly work ethic, paved the way for his unsurpassed performance.

“Matthew is the finest example of what an intense competitor and human being should be. He has been a great role model for the teams players & coaches) that I have coached. Matthew is exceedingly kind, and supremely loved and respected by all his peers. I am one of many who feel incredibly blessed to be his teammate, coach, and friend.”

Slater was a part of three Super Bowl runs with the Patriots. There were a bevy of accolades and accomplishments in between, including 10 Pro Bowl nods.

One would have to think that Slater’s future is a golden jacket and permanent enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It would be a worthy bookend to the career of one of the NFL’s all-time great players.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire