Free agent Dont'a Hightower picks Patriots over Jets

25 March, 2017, 00:44 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than seek more money elsewhere, Dont'a Hightower chose to keep living the sweet life in New England.

The re-signing of Hightower continues a great offseason for the Patriots. That option is now off the table as Hightower is returning to New England.

It was previously reported that the Jets were willing to give Hightower a monster deal - he wants $12 million per year - but prying him away from New England was always a longshot.

Hightower will re-sign with the Patriots despite interest from the New York Jets, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans.

So by the time it was linebacker Dont'a Hightower's turn to negotiate, the Steelers were not in the mood for shenanigans.

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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.

A former first-round pick out of Alabama in 2012, Hightower can play multiple positions, as he has served as both a stand-up pass rusher and an in-the-box linebacker that can stop the run. They have been uncharacteristically aggressive over the past week, signing Stephon Gilmore to a monster deal and making a trade for Brandin Cooks.

Hightower figured to have premium value, but the market didn't quite turn out to be what he or his reps suspected, we believe. In five seasons, the team's defensive signal caller has earned 372 tackles and 17 sacks.

Despite the Patriots not using the franchise tag on Hightower, they were still able to convince him to come back.

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