Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Free Agent Hightower To Decide Between Pats, Steelers And Jets

Free Agent Hightower To Decide Between Pats, Steelers And Jets

Hightower is now a free agent after his four-year, $7.7 million deal with New England has expired at the end of last season.

When it mattered most, he came to play. Hightower remains the defensive leader and will be Matt Patricia's voice on the field o play and in the huddle. He was with the Jets Monday, and the Steelers Tuesday.

Essentially, the Patriots painted themselves into a corner in terms of their need at Hightower's middle linebacker spot.

Dont'a Hightower is returning to the New England Patriots, sources tell ESPN.

Hightower's agency, SportsTrust Advisors, tweeted the agreement Wednesday, and his agent, Pat Dye, Jr confirmed it. It would have paid him roughly $10 million per year.

In 2016 Dont'a Hightower was voted to his first Pro Bowl and was named second-team All-Pro.

Bouchette says the Steelers could bring linebacker Jarvis Jones back on a one-year prove it deal because they could get him cheap for a guy looking to increase his value on the free agent market next season.

And with 1:06 remaining in Super Bowl XLIX, he tackled running back Marshawn Lynch at the 1-yard line on the play before cornerback Malcolm Butler's dramatic interception to help the Patriots beat the Seahawks. His 17.5 quarterback disruptions (2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, eight pressures) during the regular season were the fourth most on the team and almost three times more than any linebacker. But more importantly, it speaks to the lack of talent that's been built behind him on the linebacker depth chart, especially now that Collins is gone. In the playoffs, he posted 13 more tackles (9 solo, 4 assisted) along with a sack and a forced fumble on the way to the Super Bowl victory.

Elandon Roberts, Shea McClellin, Jonathan Freeny, and Kyle Van Noy could continue to be solid rotational linebackers behind Hightower moving forward.

Not only did the signing make a whole lot of sense for the Patriots, but it also adorably made his mom dance like this. Stealing Hightower away would not only weaken the Patriots but improve the Jets.

The contract probably won't be as lucrative as he imagined at the start of free agency, but Hightower still will land an impressive deal.

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