One of the main priorities for the New England Patriots this off season is securing some of their key free agents. One of them is linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
Hightower is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. After winning two Super Bowls with the Patriots, the Patriots declined to franchise tag Hightower, and he will be hitting the open market when it opens on March 9th.
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But the Patriots are optimistic that Hightower will be back, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Hightower is open to returning.
#Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower had a positive conversation with Belichick about his future last week. He’s exploring but open to returning
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2017
I hope that he comes back, there’s a good chance that he does, it’s possible the Patriots are doing with Hightower what they have done in the past with other players, letting them test the market to see their value before signing them to a deal.
Hightower is a big part of what this defense has become, it would be a shame to let a key player like him go. Hightower has repeatedly made key play after key play in some of the biggest games of the year. Hightower of course stopped Marshawn Lynch at the 1 in Super Bowl 49 (while playing with a torn labrum), and of course forced a huge fumble in Super Bowl 51 which sparked the Patriots comeback.
Big players make big plays in big games, Hightower is a must. We knew this going into the off season and he should remain priority.