Matthew Slater taking football year-to-year, plans to enter ministry after retirement

Elise Amendola / AP

Patriots gunner Matthew Slater is 32 years old. In his illustrious career, he's made six consecutive Pro Bowls and received four first-team All-Pro nods. But as he grows older, he's beginning to consider life after the game--a life which he says will prominently feature ministry.

In an interview with ESPN's Mike Reiss, Slater first discussed retirement and how much longer he plans to play for the Pats:

Right now, I feel good. The Lord has blessed me with some good health," Slater said. "I still really enjoy the process of preparation and the competition. And Coach Belichick still has me on his roster. As long as those three things are going, I’ll do it as long as the Lord is going to have me do it, and I know I can leave the game with peace of mind, whenever it is, for the opportunities I’ve had here, the experience I’ve had, the friendships I’ve made. I feel like I’m still living the dream and trying to enjoy it one day at a time.

But beyond the game, Slater is focused on ministry. The team captain has led prayers for teammates (and opposing players) before and after games for years, and said that "I've always had a passion for the ministry...That's something I've always wanted to pursue. Understanding that football has never been a guarantee for me, it’s something I’ve always been prepared to move on and do."

The location of the Slater's ministry has yet to be determined. He said that it could be in Boston, near his home in California, or "wherever" his family ends up after his career ends. If his passion for preaching is anything like his passion for football, the project will likely be a great success.

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