Will Sunday be Patriots captain Matthew Slater's last game?

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick-hit thoughts and notes around the New England Patriots and NFL:

1. Jackie Slater's view: The Patriots' regular-season finale against the New York Jets (1 p.m. ET, Fox) could be longtime captain Matthew Slater's final career game, which would cap the core special-teamer's 16-year career that included three Super Bowl championships.

Slater said this week that when he arrived as a fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2008, his legacy was being Pro Football Hall of Famer Jackie Slater's son, and making him proud was important to him.

Mission accomplished.

"I can remember we were all excited he got drafted and by the team that drafted him. But that first year, year-and-a-half, two years, even beyond that, we wondered if this was going to be the year he was not going to make it," Jackie Slater told ESPN. "Things ended up working out really well for him, and to see him grow in the role he had, it was just amazing to watch.

"I have to be honest with you, over the 20 years I played, I didn't see too many -- if any -- really, really good special teams players to distinguish themselves and have that kind of career. They had careers that were dazzling at their position but they didn't have them for a long period of time."

Jackie Slater played offensive tackle, spending the first 19 years of his career with the Rams in Los Angeles before playing his final season with the franchise in St. Louis when the team relocated.

Naturally, he is proud of Matthew's pro career and the bond between them that led NFL Films to call them "Football's Ultimate Family." He also shared that his wife Annie's influence resonates with him.

"People ask me all the time if I was taking Matthew to [Rams] practice a lot, if he was around. He came on a couple occasions as he got older, but I didn't drag him to the Rams' facility or the practice facility or anything.

"What was happening at our house was my wife was in the business of trying to raise a kid that would respect other people, do the right things and would take his education serious and his faith serious.

"That's the thing, more than anything else, that has stuck with me. Those very, very important attributes that my wife so cherished. I cherished them as well, but especially my wife so cherished those. To see them instilled in a young man, and see him go live his life and try to practice those things that are very essential, has been a joy to watch."

There have been strong hints that Sunday will be Matthew's final NFL game. Jackie Slater said he wasn't tipping his hand if he would be in attendance.

Of what has stood out to him about Matthew's style of play, he reminisced about Matthew's days as a youth.

"He's always committed to finish a play. It's been amazing to me to watch him do that, and [that] reminded me of him trying to catch the kid who had the flag when he was playing flag football. It seemed like he was the last person chasing him.

"He always had that tenacity to him."

2. Belichick's future: What is the atmosphere like inside the Gillette Stadium coaching offices as speculation swirls about Bill Belichick's future as coach? "No one has any idea of what's going to happen. There's not a soul in the building that does," one staffer with an office close to Belichick said. It is tense times for all.

3. Snow game: Snow is in the forecast for Sunday's home finale, and if history is any indication, that is good news for the Patriots. They are 12-0 all time in snow games at home -- the most recent a 28-14 win over the Jets on Jan. 3, 2021, that was played in light snow and broke a 10-season streak of games without snow, following a 59-0 win over the Titans on Oct. 18, 2009, and a 47-7 victory over the Cardinals on Dec. 21, 2008. Rookies had snow brushes left at their lockers this week.

4. Klemm's return: Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, who left the team in mid-November to address health concerns that led to a lengthy hospital stay involving surgery, has recovered to the point that he visited the team facility for the first time last week, according to a source. Seeing him in a better place was a boost for some of his colleagues.

5. Andrews the ironman: Center and longtime captain David Andrews has played every snap this season, which is a source of pride to him. He is the only player on the team who has done so, and his steadiness during a disappointing season has earned him admiration from many, including offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. "I've been so fortunate to be around some of the best pros and college players in 31 years, and David is one of the best. He's beat up, but he shows up every day. These are the type of guys you like to be around, love to coach," O'Brien said.

6. Guy's 500K bonus: Sean Kiernan, the agent for Patriots defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, was pleased to learn the team was considering awarding Guy his $500,000 playing-time incentive -- for taking part in 45% of the season snaps -- prior to Sunday's season finale. Guy is hovering around that number, and in a game with an estimated 70 defensive snaps, he would need to play 24 of them, according to Kiernan's close tracking of the incentive. The Patriots, in a classy move, told Kiernan that Guy -- who has been a steady presence all season -- will receive the bonus regardless.

7. Fines add up: One topic that didn't sit well with some players in the locker room over the course of the season -- that they hope will be addressed in the offseason -- is the high volume of NFL fines. Consider that after safety Jalen Mills was fined $16,136 for unnecessary roughness in Week 17, it marked the 13th different fine of a Patriots player, for a total of $184,137 (prior to appeals). Of the 13 fines, 12 were for unnecessary roughness and one was specified as for a hit on a quarterback.

8. Slater's tunes: The Patriots played Slater's favorite music throughout the week at practice in an ode to his career. That included "When I Get There" by Kirk Franklin, "We're Blessed" by Fred Hammond, and his kids' favorite song, "I Got That" by Anthony Brown. "All we listen to at home is gospel music," Slater said. "I appreciate the guys tolerating my music."

9. They said it: "In August, during final cuts, I talked to Bailey and thought he had a great attitude and outlook on the situation [of being cut and signed to the practice squad]. What do I need to do better? He's worked very hard to address those [things], and I think that's shown up in his play -- not just recently, but day by day through September, October, all those days. It's a big credit to him, his mental toughness, resiliency and attitude toward competing." -- Belichick, on QB Bailey Zappe.

10. Did you know? If the Patriots beat the Jets on Sunday for a 16th straight time, it will mark their longest winning streak over an opponent in franchise history -- snapping a tie with a 15-game streak over the Bills from 2003 to 2010.