Legendary special teamer Matthew Slater reveals he almost left Patriots for AFC rival

Former New England Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater revealed he almost left New England and became a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Slater made this revelation on Julian Edelman’s “Games with Names” podcast.

It’s hard to imagine Slater signing with anybody else but New England. He was a staple on the team’s special teams unit and ended up forging a 16-year career with the organization.

Nevertheless, there was a time when his contract was up in 2018, and negotiations were not going smoothly. Slater was probably closer to leaving New England than anybody had realized.

“I almost left,” Slater said. “They were trying to hardball me in negotiations. I almost had to get out of there. I almost had to pull the emergency chute and get out of there.”

A last-ditch phone call from Bill Belichick brought Slater back to the organization.

“I got the call in the airport,” said Slater. “Needless to say, I signed back.”

It would’ve been very strange to see Slater in anything but a Patriots uniform. He ended up being a constant for New England from start to finish and established himself as one of the all-time great special teamers to ever play the game.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire