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Matthew Slater was greeting Patriots players on first day of offseason workouts

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 -- Matthew Slater retired in February following a 16-year career in the NFL, spent entirely with the New England Patriots. But while Slater's playing days are over, the former special teams ace can still be found at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots kicked off their offseason program at Gillette on Monday, and Slater was there to greet players on their first day, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss. Think back in the day of that one teacher that was always happy and had a giant smile on their face standing at the front door and welcoming you in for your first day of school.

That's what Patriots players got when they arrived for work Monday. The voluntary sessions will run over the next two weeks, and are more of an introduction for players, as they'll be limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and rehab. 

While it's a new system in place under new head coach Jerod Mayo, who better to introduce newcomers to New England than Slater?  So if you heard someone shouting "How does it feeeeeeeeel to be in Foxboroooooo for the offseason program?" followed by an energetic "Awwwwww YEAH" coming from Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, you know who was responsible.

Slater, who will turn 39 in September, was a team captain for 13 of his seasons with the Patriots and became one of the most well-respected players in the NFL during his career. It makes sense that Mayo would want a guy like Slater -- who was also a 10-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All Pro -- around the team as much as possible. 

Slater has hinted that he could potentially get into coaching, though he hasn't joined Mayo's staff ahead of the 2024 season. But don't be surprised to see him around the team quite a bit throughout the 2024 season.

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