Patriots Retain Dont'a Hightower On Four-Year Deal

Maybe the Jets should have gone with pie instead of green cupcakes?

New England agreed to re-sign the free agent linebacker Wednesday, with Hightower's agency, SportsTrust Advisors, tweeting the agreement and his agent, Pat Dye, Jr confirming it.

If you followed the reports of this negotiation out on the Twittersvere, your head is likely spinning.

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Thielen receives $11 million guaranteed on his new contract and will be signed through the 2020 season.

When it mattered most, he came to play.

Hightower was crucial to New England's Super Bowl winning season in 2016, recording 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble during the regular season and 13 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble in the playoffs. It also may have been leaked to hurt his leverage in negotiations. The Patriots may have ultimately been able to win without a true replacement for Hightower anyway, but the numbers in recent seasons show that the current defense would have taken a huge hit if it lost its captain.

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Who's on the Jets' draft board? Some felt he never wanted to leave but was leveraging more money by taking outside visits.

Hightower was in Pittsburgh on Tuesday visiting with the Steelers. All the while, Hightower's camp seemed to be leaking rumors of the Jets' offer. Hightower shares a lot of characteristics with Tedy Bruschi, most notably the knack for making a huge play at the exact moment the team needs one most. Hightower knows he got the deal that the market would bear for him. Would Bill Belichick want to lose his star linebacker to a division rival? Over his first five National Football League seasons, Hightower has 404 tackles, 17 sacks, and 13 pass deflections.

It is believed that he is seeking a contract that would pay in excess of $10 million per season. He could also resign with the New England Patriots. That's exactly what the Jets would be doing by tying up big money in Hightower to pair with last year's first-round pick, Darron Lee.

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