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Matthew Slater has a new role with the New England Patriots

Patriots host Top 30 visits with quarterbacks Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels
Patriots host Top 30 visits with quarterbacks Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels 05:57

FOXBORO -- We know that earlier this offseason, Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater retired from the NFL after 16 seasons  in New England. We also know that Slater was back at Gillette Stadium on Monday when returning Patriots reported for the start of voluntary workouts.

Slater himself won't be working out. But we now know why the retired Slater was at the football stadium despite his playing days coming to an end.

According to Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers, Slater has a new role with the team: Advisor. 

"I didn't think he was done anyway," Peppers told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. "So I think this is his way to stay engaged but take the load off of his body, get some more time with the family, but also still be a part of the organization and doing the thing he loves to do."

Most Patriots fans expected Slater to return to the franchise in some capacity. It's unclear if his new gig is a full-time role or a part-time position, but whatever it is, Slater will remain around the only organization that he played for.

And he's certainly the kind of guy that Jerod Mayo would want in the building as he navigates his first season as an NFL head coach. Despite playing only a limited amount of snaps each weekend, Slater was one of the most vocal leaders inside the New England locker room. He was a Patriots team captain 13 times for a reason: When Slater spoke, players listened.

Peppers wasn't sure what Slater's new role with the team will entail for the 38-year-old, but it should include plenty of chatting with current players. And that makes Peppers a happy camper.

"As long as I get to bounce some knowledge off of him and see him around the locker room, having Slate in the locker room, he uplifted spirits and always knew what to say," said Peppers. "I'm definitely happy we kept him in the building."

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