Matthew Slater is not used to the kind of losing that has gone on with the New England Patriots this season.

The three-time Super Bowl winner is one of the few remaining holdovers from the championship era in New England. Nowadays, the Patriots have fallen to the basement of the NFL.

With six games to go, losing continues to set the Patriots up for a better draft pick that could be the center of a potentially massive rebuild. At the same time, players often play for pride in these situations.

So, how does the Patriots captain feel about the conversations surrounding tanking in New England?

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“I personally try to put myself in positions to be able to understand everyone’s mode of thinking,” Slater said on WEEI’s “Jones and Mego” show on Monday. “I understand the rationale. I understand fans having an opinion or hopes and expectations of what we do. … I don’t have a problem with it. I’m not offended at all.”

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The veteran special teams star did note that the competitive nature as a player overrules in this situation, especially for more experienced players who know that they may not have many games left.

“As a player, though, especially in my situation, you realize opportunities in this league are never guaranteed,” Slater explained. “As easy as it is for fans or pundits to look ahead to the future, as a player, your future is never guaranteed, especially for someone in my position. I think as players, it’s up to us to embrace the opportunities we are given and treat them like they are our last.

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Despite the immense struggles and the long-term incentive to lose the final games in 2023, Slater reiterated his motto to not take the chance to play for granted and to play to win.

“The idea of losing games or tanking will never appeal to players, I hope, as long as we’re in it,” Slater added. “I can see all sides of it. I understand it. Certainly, I want to win the next six games. That’s how I’m wired. That’s what I hope we do.”

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Slater and the Patriots look to show some improvement against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13 at Gillette Stadium.

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Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images