Two Patriots players were recognized with separate awards on Wednesday.
Special teams captain Matthew Slater was selected as this year’s winner of the Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award, while wide receiver Julian Edelman was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Sunday’s 35-14 win over the Dolphins.
Slater’s honor was for his work off the field. The Bart Starr Award is given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field. Slater was chosen by his peers in the NFL to receive the honor.
“I am very aware of Bart Starr’s character and the type of man he is, so to be mentioned in the same sentence as Mr. Starr is humbling,” Slater said in a statement. “I am honored to be receiving this award, not only for what it stands for, but because it is something I can share with my father. I was there when he received his award and to be receiving it myself two decades later is a very special honor for my family.”
Slater’s father, Hall of Famer Jackie Slater was an offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams and the 1996 Bart Starr Award winner, making this the first time a father and son have earned the honor.
The award will be given to Slater at the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast. Along with his father, Matthew Slater will join the list of Bart Starr Award winners that includes Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Brent Jones, Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams, Jason Witten, London Fletcher, and Reggie White.
Slater is a six-time Pro Bowler and special teams captain. Off the field, he works with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and volunteers in various children’s ministries throughout the year. In 2013, Slater earned the Ron Burton Community Service Award for his dedication to the community.
Edelman caught eight passes for a career-high 151 yards against Miami. It was his second 100-yard game of 2016 and the 11th of his career (nine in the regular season and two in the postseason).
Edelman scored on a 77-yard touchdown in the third quarter, a career long. His previous best was a 69-yard touchdown at San Diego on Dec. 7, 2014. Edelman entered the Miami game needing 45 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark. He finished the season with a career high 1,106 yards.
He joins Wes Welker (5), Rob Gronkowski (3), Randy Moss (3), Stanley Morgan (3) and Terry Glenn (2) as the only Patriots players with at least two 1,000-yard seasons. Edelman had 1,065 yards receiving in 2013.