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Posts related to ‘Dont’a Hightower’
Sunday 7: Why Patriots probably will not be getting Saints’ No. 11 overall pick for Malcolm Butler 03.19.17 at 6:00 am ET
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Malcolm Butler is likely headed to New Orleans. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler is likely headed to New Orleans. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

1. With Malcolm Butler visiting the Saints last week as a restricted free agent with a first-round tender, many have speculated the Patriots should force the Saints into signing him as a restricted free agent so they could get the Saints’ No. 11 overall pick. This doesn’t seem likely, and is where a potential trade comes in, which could have already been discussed two weeks ago when the two teams made a deal for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks needed to get traded last weekend because he was due a roster bonus last Monday. While Butler was rumored to be part of the deal, he ultimately wasn’t. This could have been because he didn’t sign his first-round tender. It’s quite possible the two teams agreed on a trade involving Butler and Cooks, but could only include the Cooks portion last weekend because the Saints needed to meet and work out a long-term deal with Butler before that part of the deal is executed. Once a long-term agreement happens, Butler would sign his tender and the Patriots could send him to the Saints and get back their first-round pick. That would mean in the end the Patriots would get Cooks and the Saints’ fourth-round pick in exchange for Butler and the Saints’ third-round pick. Not a bad deal at all for both sides. Think of if this way: Does a deal with the Saints getting Butler and the Patriots’ first and third-round picks in exchange for Cooks, their No.11 overall pick and a fourth-round pick make sense? No, they would be getting robbed. Bottom line, if the Patriots don’t in fact get the No. 11 overall pick from the Saints for Butler, note the Cooks trade and realize the two sides could have already negotiated a Cooks for Butler trade and pick swap, and the Patriots’ first-round pick last weekend could have been just a place-holder.

2. It cannot be stated how important it was for the Patriots to re-sign Dont’a Hightower. Hightower is the undisputed leader of the defense and who the unit looks to most. The 27-year-old isn’t much of a “ra-ra” leader, but when something needs to be said, he says it and gets the full attention of the team. This is what makes him such a great leader. After the Jamie Collins trade this past season, Hightower was the one leading the way in keeping the unit together and getting back on track after the poor showing against Seattle in the game immediately following the trade. Also, look at who is behind Hightower on the depth chart: Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, Shea McClellin and Jonathan Freeny. Usually the Patriots have internal fallback options in place for free agents in case they leave, but in the case of Hightower they really didn’t, which was another major reason why it was imperative he returned in 2017.

3. One of the takeaways from Duron Harmon’s conference call on Friday was him noting he was going to experiment playing a couple of pounds heavier, going up from 205 pounds to 207 or 208 during OTAs and minicamp. “I would say the run area is a key [area] where I feel that I can grow in,” he said. “My tackling could be a little bit more aggressive and I think that’s going to come with putting on a little bit more weight, being able to bang down there. So I think that area is key, and could be an area I could grow a lot in, I believe so.” This could be a sign the team might use him more in a Patrick Chung role, where Chung plays closer to the line of scrimmage and is a major player in stopping the run.

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Read More: Dont'a Hightower, Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Malcolm Mitchell
Report: Jets had injury concerns with Dont’a Hightower 03.17.17 at 12:12 pm ET
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The Jets reportedly had injury concerns wth Dont'a Hightower. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

The Jets reportedly had injury concerns wth Dont’a Hightower. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Why did it take so long for Dont’a Hightower’s market to come in free agency?

Maybe it wasn’t just because teams didn’t see how they could use him properly, but rather teams had some injury concerns.

Hightower battled shoulder and knee issues in 2016 and has only played a full season once in his five-year career, not playing more than 13 games in each of his last three seasons.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Jets’ interest in Hightower “zeal diminished” after giving him a physical when he was in for a visit on Sunday. The report added the Jets made an initial offer of $62.5 million over five years, but after the physical the guarantees wouldn’t be something Hightower would agree to.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer added the Jets actually pulled their offer after the physical, so it appears there were legitimate concerns with the linebacker.

The Patriots know Hightower better than anyone in the league given he’s spent five years with the organization, and were seemingly comfortable signing him to a four-year deal, but it definitely is worth noting a possible reason it took so long for his market to develop was because of injury concerns.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Patriots re-sign LB Dont’a Hightower to reported 4-year deal 03.15.17 at 1:45 pm ET
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Dont'a Hightower is back with the Patriots. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower is back with the Patriots. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower is officially back with the Patriots.

On Wednesday afternoon his agency confirmed the move via Twitter. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the contract is for four years and worth $43.5 million with $19 million guaranteed.

The linebacker reportedly visited the Jets and Steelers earlier this week, but ultimately the 27-year-old decided to return to New England, the place he’s spent the first five years in the league at and won two Super Bowls.

The Jets reportedly offered Hightower over $12 million per year, but it seems like Hightower valued winning a little more than money.

New England gets one of its leaders on defense back in 2017, as once again it will have one of the best defenses in football.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patirots.

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Dont'a Hightower,
Report: Dont’a Hightower slated to make decision Wednesday, expected to return to Patriots at 8:10 am ET
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Dont'a Hightower reportedly is expected to make a decision Wednesday. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower reportedly is expected to make a decision Wednesday. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

It looks like Wednesday is decision day for Dont’a Hightower.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Hightower is slated to make a decision on which team he will sign with.

He’s deciding between the Steelers, Jets and Patriots. The 27-year-old visited with the Jets Sunday and Monday and then the Steelers Tuesday.

Hightower reportedly is seeking $10-13 million per year. The Jets are said to have offered the most money, but it appears Hightower values winning and the money might not be enough. On Tuesday, the Steelers reportedly said they would pull their offer if Hightower got on a plane to leave town because they didn’t want to be used by them.

Rapoport adds those involve expect him to return to New England.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Dont'a Hightower,
Steelers reportedly playing hardball with Dont’a Hightower, don’t want him leaving town without signing 03.14.17 at 5:42 pm ET
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The Steelers are playing hardball with Dont'a Hightower. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

The Steelers are playing hardball with Dont’a Hightower. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

The Steelers do not want to be used by Dont’a Hightower.

According to NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkabwala, the Steelers have told Hightower their offer is gone if he gets on the plane to leave town. He’s reportedly left their facility after a visit on Tuesday.

The Steelers likely know Hightower was going to take their offer to the Patriots so they could see what he was getting and then the team would base their offer off that.

The linebacker reportedly is seeking $10-13 million per season.

It was also reported Monday that many teams around the league believe Hightower will eventually re-sign with the Patriots.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Dont'a Hightower,
Report: Dont’a Hightower’s visit with Steelers went well, LB now buying time to talk with Patriots at 3:42 pm ET
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Dont'a Hightower reportedly finished his visit with the Steelers. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower reportedly finished his visit with the Steelers. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

It appears Dont’a Hightower’s visit with the Steelers has ended.

According to NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, there were positive vibes coming from the Steelers after Hightower’s visit. There’s no deal between the two sides yet, and it appears it is because Hightower is buying time to talk with the Patriots.

This makes sense considering this is how many expected the Patriots to approach things. Bill Belichick typically allows his free agents to test the market, see what offers they get and then return with the offers and allow the Patriots to decide how to proceed.

The linebacker visited with the Jets on Sunday and Monday.

Hightower reportedly is seeking between $10-13 million per year. On Monday, it was reported the Steelers going more than $10 million would be “out of the Steelers’ comfort.”

It seems like the ball is now in Belichick and the Patriots’ court.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Dont'a Hightower,
Dont’a Hightower reportedly meeting with Steelers Tuesday at 10:39 am ET
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Dont'a Hightower reportedly is visiting Steelers on Tuesday. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower reportedly is visiting Steelers on Tuesday. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

The snow apparently didn’t stop Dont’a Hightower from getting to Pittsburgh.

According to multiple reports, Hightower is in Pittsburgh meeting with the Steelers on Tuesday.

The linebacker met with the Jets Sunday and Monday and there was a question of whether or not he would be able to make it to Pittsburgh Monday night because of the storm, but it didn’t prove to be an issue.

The free agent linebacker has been connected to the Jets, Steelers and Patriots. He was connected to the Dolphins and Titans last week, but those teams seem to be out of the mix.

The 27-year-old reportedly is seeking between $10-13 million per year.

It’s expected he will return to the Patriots, but with him taking all these visits maybe there’s a chance he signs elsewhere.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Dont'a Hightower,
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