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Report: Matthew Slater Nearly Opted Out of 2020 Season, Decided to Play Instead

Slater is entering the 2020 season at 34 years of age.

While six New England Patriots players have already opted out of the 2020 season, there apparently was a seventh that nearly did the same. That would be special teams standout and captain, Matthew Slater. 

"One guy that almost opted out but decided not to is Matt Slater," NFL media's Mike Garafolo said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football. "We were chasing this yesterday, Ian Rapoport and I, because I was told that Slater was leaning towards opting out and Rapoport eventually tracked down Slater, who said 'no, it was a tough decision, but I will be playing.' So there you go, Patriots fans. A little glimmer of hope for you this year."

Slater's decision to play football may have had to do with his age. At 34 years old, if the Patriots captain decided to not play football this year, that may have been the last time he stepped on the football field as a player. 

This is good news for New England. After losing several key players to opt-outs, losing Slater would have meant yet another foundational piece of the franchise would have-not been in the locker room to begin the post-Tom Brady era.

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Crisis averted.