New England Patriots: Dont’a Hightower Not Worried About Free Agency
One of the top priorities for the New England Patriots will be to re-sign linebacker Dont’a Hightower. However, he isn’t worried about being a free agent.
After winning Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons, the New England Patriots’ front office will be working overtime to prepare for the offseason. After the successful 2016 season, the Patriots will have a few key free agents that they will be attempting to retain.
Arguably the most important is linebacker Dont’a Hightower. In recent years, Hightower has been key for the defense, and his value was shown in the Super Bowl. With a need for a turnover, Hightower was able to strip sack Matt Ryan to help set the Patriots up for one of their fourth quarter scores.
The success of Hightower in New England has set him up to be one of the premier free agents this offseason. On Adam Schefter’s podcast, he made it perfectly clear how he feels about New England.
“I love what I have in New England,” Hightower said via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “I don’t have too much drawn up. I just want to be respected and loved.”
This will be the first time that Hightower hits free agency, and he is a bit unsure how it will go. On his team alone, he will have a few friends that will be going through the process as well.
“I’m not sure. Obviously, I have a few friends, a few teammates going into it with me. Chandler Jones [in Arizona], Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, a lot of guys I’m close to,” he said on the podcast via Reiss. “Jamie [Collins] obviously signed his deal [in Cleveland], I’ve reached out and talked to him a little bit.
“I’m sure it will be a journey, a rough and rocky one. But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve had five good years and I’m looking forward to what’s coming my way.”
The Patriots very rarely pay top dollar for free agents, but Hightower was certainly a key member of the team. Also, the Patriots will be able to use the franchise tag on him if they are unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal.
Free agency will certainly be a busy time for the Patriots. With plenty of good players up for new contracts, it will be interesting to see where the Patriots spend their money.
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