3. Matthew Slater
When Slater's Patriots teammates came out for warm-ups in New England's regular season finale against the Jets, they were donning sweatshirts honoring the 16-year NFL vet and his impressive list of accomplishments.
The gesture assuredly suggested that it would in fact be Slater's final game, something that had been speculated on throughout the season.
Slater is arguably the best special teams player of all time, racking up 10 Pro Bowl selections, five first-team All-Pro nods, and was named to both the New England Patriots All-2010s and All-Dynasty teams. He's a three-time Super Bowl champion, and was also honored for his character and off-field contributions with the Bart Starr Award and Art Rooney Award.
Throughout his tenure in the league, Slater has carried himself with unwavering class and consummate professionalism. The 38-year-old is the son of Jackie Slater, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and has the chance to perhaps follow in his dad's footsteps and receive a bust in Canton himself.
The younger Slater reportedly contemplated calling it a career last offseason following the retirement of his friend Devin McCourty. Reading into Slater's comments around the possibility of retirement this season, his reflective tone certainly suggests that 2023 was his last hurrah.
Slater has yet to formally announce that he is hanging up the cleats and riding off into the sunset. Whenever he does, he seems like the epitome of everything that you would look for in a coach one day, if that is the path that he desires.