Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
3 months ago

The Jets were uncomfortable with the result of Hightower's physical, ESPN.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

The Jets initially offered the 27-year-old linebacker a five-year, $62.5 million contract, but it seems they dropped out of the running after getting the results of his physical. Hightower subsequently re-signed with the Patriots -- who surely have a good feel for his injury risk -- on a four-year, $43.5 million contract that includes $19 million guaranteed. He did miss at least three games in each of the last three seasons, though never more than four in a single campaign. His shoulder and knee are the mostly likely causes of the Jets' concern, but neither was a big enough problem to prevent the ever-cautious Patriots from offering Hightower a hefty sum.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
3 months ago

The Patriots have re-signed Hightower to a four-year, $43.5 million deal that includes $19 million in guaranteed money, the Boston Herald reports.

EDGE Analysis

Hightower, who the Patriots drafted 25th overall in 2012, dabbled in free agency, visiting with both the Jets and Steelers, but the general consensus was that the 27-year-old linebacker would end up staying with New England, barring a dazzling financial offer. After seeing the Patriots boldly part ways with key defenders Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins in 2016, it seemed logical for the team to retain Hightower, who has been New England's defensive signal-caller over the past two seasons , per the Boston Globe. Now back in the fold for the next four seasons, he'll remain entrenched as the team's starting middle linebacker.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
3 months ago1 Comment

Hightower is slated to visit the Steelers.

EDGE Analysis

The versatile linebacker remains one of the most-high profile players available in free agency, but at this stage Hightower continues to weigh his options, after having previously visited the Jets. Of course, a return to the Patriots is a distinct possibility, but the 27-year-old is understandably of a mind to see what the open market has to offer. In 13 games for New England in 2016, Hightower logged 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks, solid enough numbers, but the fact that he's been entrusted in the past with the team's defensive play-calling duties, when healthy, underscores the 2012 first-rounder's true value to the franchise.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
4 months ago

The Patriots do not plan to use the franchise tag option in order to retain the services of Hightower in 2017, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

EDGE Analysis

Per the report, Hightower is now expected to test the free agent market, though we suspect that the Patriots will still look to work out a long-term deal with the versatile linebacker before then. The Patriots boldly parted ways with both Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins in 2016, further cementing Hightower's status as a key defender on the team, especially in light of the fact that he has been entrusted with the team's defensive play-calling duties when healthy. Hightower, who turns 27 on March 12, finished up this past season with 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 13 regular season games, numbers that put him on the IDP radar in deeper formats.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
4 months ago

Hightower won't need offseason surgery on his knee or shoulder, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports.

EDGE Analysis

Hightower dealt with a myriad of injuries throughout the 2016 season but still played in 13 regular season games and four playoff games. It's an encouraging sign that he won't need surgery and he should be a full participant in offseason practices.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
5 months ago

Hightower (shoulder) is active for Sunday's Super Bowl LI versus the Falcons.

EDGE Analysis

A shoulder injury has placed a cap on Hightower's workload in practice during the postseason, but he still managed 11 combined tackles (seven solo) during the Patriots' pair of victories against the Texans and Steelers.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
5 months ago

Hightower (shoulder) is questionable to play in Sunday's Super Bowl against the Falcons.

EDGE Analysis

Hightower played through the same shoulder injury in the AFC championship game. Given the absence of any reported setbacks, look for him to do the same on Sunday.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
5 months ago

Hightower (shoulder) was limited in Thursday's practice session.

EDGE Analysis

Hightower played in Sunday's AFC championship game despite being limited due to his shoulder injury in practice last week. Barring any setbacks, he isn't expected to be held out or limited in the Super Bowl next week.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
5 months ago

Hightower (shoulder) will be active for Sunday's game against the Steelers.

EDGE Analysis

Hightower was able to participate in practice throughout the week, so he'll ultimately be good to go for the AFC championship game. Expect him to start at middle linebacker per usual as the Pats look to shut down the Steelers' potent offense.

Dont'a Hightower
LB NE (9)
5 months ago

Hightower (shoulder) is questionable to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Steelers.

EDGE Analysis

The details surrounding Hightower's shoulder injury haven't been specified, but considering he participated in every practice the Patriots held this week, it doesn't appear overly concerning. Barring some sort of setback between now and kickoff, he should be good to go.