Matthew Slater, who holds the NFL record for most special teams Pro Bowl appearances with 10, announced his retirement Tuesday after 16 seasons.

“I have given all that I possibly can to respect and honor the game,” Slater wrote in a social media post shared by the New England Patriots. “Though it is time for my relationship with the game to evolve, the love I have for it will last a lifetime.”

Slater, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of UCLA and spent his entire career with New England. He wondered if he would even make the team coming out of his first training camp, a reflection of his unique role as a dedicated special teams player.

In recent years, former Patriots coach Bill Belichick had referenced Slater as the greatest to play the game in his role, saying he felt fortunate to coach who he believed were the greatest offensive (quarterback Tom Brady), defensive (linebacker Lawrence Taylor) and special teams players (Slater) in the history of the game.