NFL free agency is off and running, and we’re keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2020 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from Bill Barnwell. The new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET March 18, which means free-agent signings can be made official after that. The first round of the 2020 NFL draft begins April 23.
Length of deal: Two years
What it means: Slater is an inspirational leader, and his return before he officially hit free agency was a top priority. The Patriots are undergoing a coaching transition on special teams with Joe Judge now the head coach of the Giants, so Slater’s presence could be even more important in 2020.
What’s the risk: Slater turns 35 in September, and the Patriots finished last season with the oldest roster in the NFL. There’s some level of risk with age and the possibility of declining performance, but Slater’s presence and leadership offset any minor concern along those lines.