The New England Patriots probably don’t win the Super Bowl this past year without Dont’a Hightower. His forced fumble was part of the reason why the Patriots were able to pull off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. After testing the free agent market, Dont’a Hightower has decided to re-sign with the Patriots. His agency was the first to report the news while Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the contract details.
Patriots are giving LB Dont'a Hightower a 4-year, $43.5M deal that includes $19M guaranteed, per @_sportstrust.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2017
New England offered Hightower $10 million per year prior to the 2016 season trying to extend him. The Jets even seemed to be players in the sweepstakes offering him a deal north of $12 million per year but Hightower never considered signing with the dysfunctional franchise. The Steelers were the only other team that was serious suitors for his services. Hightower ultimately landed a deal worth $10.875 million annually.
Keeping Hightower was a huge deal for New England after they already brought Kony Ealy and Stephon Gilmore to town to further improve the defense. As a multi-faceted linebacker that can also rush the passer, he finished the 2016 season with 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 13 games.