In a move widely viewed as a foregone conclusion, the New England Patriots on Wednesday picked up Matthew Slater’s contract option, ensuring their longtime special teams captain would remain with the team for the 2019 season.

Slater, the Patriots’ third-longest-tenured player behind quarterback Tom Brady and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, will earn a $400,000 roster bonus, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

New England drafted Slater in the fifth round in 2008. Since then, he’s been one of the NFL’s top kick coverage players, earning seven Pro Bowl selections and four first-team All-Pro nods in 11 seasons.

This season marked the first time since 2010 that Slater did not receive either of those postseason honors, but he remained an important player and leader for the Patriots, playing in every game for New England after missing nearly half of the 2018 campaign.

The Patriots’ final game was arguably Slater’s best of the season, as the 33-year-old helped down three punts inside the Los Angeles Rams’ 10-yard line in Super Bowl LIII.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images