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Pats do deal with Dont’a Hightower

Dont+Hightower+New+England+Patriots+Minicamp+FgfMpoEnioWl-1 Getty Images

As camps approach, the remaining first-rounders gradually are coming to terms.

The day opened with 14 unsigned first-round selections.  So far, two more have been inked.

First, the Redskins agreed to a deal with quarterback Robert Griffin III, the second overall pick in the draft.  Now, a league source tells PFT that the Pats have come to terms with linebacker Dont’a Hightower, the 25th overall selection in round one.

Hightower’s deal has no connection to Griffin’s.  Picked at the bottom of the round, Hightower’s floor was set by Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus at No. 26.  But Hightower’s slot hadn’t been fully fixed, given that the three guys in front of Hightower (Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden at No. 22, Lions tackle Riley Reiff at No. 23, and Steelers guard David DeCastro at No. 24) have yet to sign.

The question is whether and to what extent Hightower received a partial guarantee of his fourth-year salary.  Mercilus obtained a guarantee for the first three years only.  Pats linebacker Chandler Jones at No. 21 has $752,000 in base salary guaranteed for the final year of the deal.

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20 Responses to “Pats do deal with Dont’a Hightower”
  1. marima07 says: Jul 18, 2012 2:18 PM

    Excellent! Teams are even more limited under the new CBA in how practices are conducted, so it’s important that rookies be able to participate fully in Training Camp to make the most of the time they do have.

  2. idealisticapathetic says: Jul 18, 2012 2:20 PM

    This guy was allll over the field in college – involved in almost every defensive play. I think the Pats linebackers are very solid for the foreseeable future, barring any serious injuries.

  3. cleverbob says: Jul 18, 2012 2:29 PM

    Proposed nickname: Whitney “Ming the” Mercilus

    I have nothing else to contribute to this story.

  4. captainwisdom8888 says: Jul 18, 2012 2:39 PM

    I foresee a bright future for this kid…and if the Pats can continue to bolster their defense to help take some pressure off of the offense, than Brady might not have to score 35+ points-per-game to get the W.

    Despite all of his achievments, losing to Eli twice in the Super Bowl has created a serious “but” in Brady’s legacy. Yeah, he’s won 3 superbowls, set passing records, an MVP award…BUTTTT, he’s been bested twice by Eli and the Giants on the biggest stage. I think he’s going to come out angry this season and make a big statement similar to the record setting season in which he was throwing to Moss.

  5. homelanddefense says: Jul 18, 2012 2:40 PM

    Good, get him in camp on time. Personally I think he will have a much greatly impact, at least initially, on the defense than Chandler Jones will.

    heck, Bequette will probably provide more than Jones right away.

  6. novanation33 says: Jul 18, 2012 3:38 PM

    As a Jets fan I hate to say it but it was a great pick by New England. I loved this kid at Bama. Very physical and disciplined player. He and Mayo should be a great duo.

  7. rpmcanes says: Jul 18, 2012 3:49 PM

    Despite all of his achievments, losing to Eli twice in the Super Bowl has created a serious “but” in Brady’s legacy. Yeah, he’s won 3 superbowls, set passing records, an MVP award…BUTTTT, he’s been bested twice by Eli and the Giants on the biggest stage. I think he’s going to come out angry this season and make a big statement similar to the record setting season in which he was throwing to Moss.

    I think Brady did what he needed to do to win. Defense let him down both times. Not taking away anything from Eli either, he made plays when he needed to.

  8. CKL says: Jul 18, 2012 4:30 PM

    RPM I’m a Pats fan and my feeling is the offense failed them in the last 2 SBs. Their defenses were average, and performed to their average. Their offenses were stifled. TB had two bad mistakes in this last one (safety and throw to Gronk). Overall he played well enough in both, but he has to be EXCELLENT.

  9. descendency says: Jul 18, 2012 4:38 PM

    When the Steelers were on the clock (pick 24), I was grinning ear to ear because I knew the Patriots were either going to get DeCastro (the best guard prospect in 10+ years), Hightower, or a boatload of picks.

    It’s nice to see him in NE.

  10. ytsejamer1 says: Jul 18, 2012 4:56 PM

    I’m happy they got this done. BB teams have always had success when they have a dynamic and strong LB core. He hasn’t had that for several years…by 2007, they were running on fumes. I think Hightower and Bequette will really solidify that position on the field…hopefully they can be diverse so that BB can scheme to his heart’s content.

    As for the SB losses as brought up by the posters above…they’re both right. Offense and defense failed at critical junctures of the game. I can give you a handful of plays either side could have made which would likely have made the difference between winning and losing. That’s how close they were…good, championship winning teams make the plays you absolutely have to make in a big spot.

    The Pats since their last SB title, haven’t been able to make those little plays here and there that would end up winning the game for them.

    Hopefully the defensive pieces that BB and Co. have brought in here via the draft will really help us out. Can’t wait for this season to get going.

  11. lgw91s says: Jul 18, 2012 5:16 PM

    descendency says:
    Jul 18, 2012 4:38 PM
    When the Steelers were on the clock (pick 24), I was grinning ear to ear because I knew the Patriots were either going to get DeCastro (the best guard prospect in 10+ years), Hightower, or a boatload of picks
    ————-
    I didn’t know that. They had already traded the 25th pick to get Chandler Jones. Not sure how you knew they were going to trade up again from 31.

  12. electionconfidential says: Jul 18, 2012 5:49 PM

    The Pats haven’t won a SB since they stopped filming other team’s practices. They field good teams, but they also benefit from being in the AFC and thus they have a pretty easy road to the SB, especially last year with Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning hurt.

    I think they’ll come out a better team this year. Hightower is a good addition and Gronkowski should be better than ever. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go back to the SB, but I would be surprised to see them win it. The NFC just has too many strong teams.

  13. backindasaddle says: Jul 18, 2012 7:35 PM

    I was really glad to see the Pats go almost exclusively defense in this draft. They needed to keep the influx of young talent flowing onto that side of the ball. But the way I look at the Pats coming into this season is that I see an offense that could be absolutely phenomenal. Nocho Brainzo is gone and they replaced him with Brandon Lloyd who excels in the system and is already showing he’s in sync with Brady. The Pats also brought back reliable and proven Brady favorites Jabar Gafney and Donte Stallworth who will probably have to fight it out for the spot. Of course the ultra-productive Welker is ever present along with Deion Branch and those two awesome TE’s. It seems to me that Brady is going to have weapons all over the place and all those weapons know and excel in the system. This looks to the best receiving/TE corps the Pats have ever had and I’m expecting HUGE things from the offense. The defense can only get better from last year. The Pats will be in the hunt for another Super Bowl.

  14. giantsfanlewis says: Jul 18, 2012 7:39 PM

    Love all the Brady apologiests. It’s welker, its the defense, its the wrs, the line couldn’t block, the guy in the stands had a laser pointer.

    Tom Brady has shown that winning super bowls doesn’t make you a great quarterback. That takes a great defense(something when new England won those superbowls lives by). ever since tom Brady has started putting up huge numbers he has been just like peyton. Bad in the post season and getting wins usually when his defense bails him out or when he’s facing a sad team.

    Offense brings crowds, defense wins championships.
    Even today.

  15. jpak12 says: Jul 18, 2012 7:40 PM

    electionconfidential says:Jul 18, 2012 5:49 PM

    The Pats haven’t won a SB since they stopped filming other team’s practices. They field good teams, but they also benefit from being in the AFC and thus they have a pretty easy road to the SB, especially last year with Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning hurt.

    I think they’ll come out a better team this year. Hightower is a good addition and Gronkowski should be better than ever. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go back to the SB, but I would be surprised to see them win it. The NFC just has too many strong teams.
    ———————————————————
    Pats were not called filming practices they were caught filming defensive hand signals.

    Now I am sure that you are refering to the report by Tomase, a somewhat disgraced “reporter” about the walkthrough before their first superbowl, well if you actually followed the story would no that those reports were proven incorrect and Tomase as well as the Herald were forced to issue an apology.

    Any smart football fan nows that spygate was overblown, there are many facts that the “haters” as some would call them like to leave out, such as when the rule was actually installed, the memo sent out to all NFL teams before 2007 about recording from that postion, as that was the the actual rule broken. But I understand that some of the less intelligent fans are going to ignore those facts, it is just the way the fans are. But at least attack the team for what they actually did.

  16. rpmcanes says: Jul 18, 2012 7:57 PM

    The Pats haven’t won a SB since they stopped filming other team’s practices

    Sorry pal, never happened.

  17. justwannawinna says: Jul 18, 2012 9:16 PM

    Smart move to get him in time for camp without missing any days and this kid is very versatile since he can pass rush giving the pats the option of putting him at OlB if needed and putting that kid spikes in on 3Rd

  18. randallflagg52 says: Jul 19, 2012 4:16 AM

    Who cares, the pats have the most tainted “legacy” since the black sox.

    Oh, and Chandler Jones will bust. When is the last time a never was in college who shot up draft boards post-combine has done anything in the NFL?

  19. rc33 says: Jul 19, 2012 1:19 PM

    Despite all of his achievments, losing to Eli twice in the Super Bowl has created a serious “but” in Brady’s legacy. Yeah, he’s won 3 superbowls, set passing records, an MVP award…BUTTTT, he’s been bested twice by Eli and the Giants on the biggest stage.
    ————————————
    So by your way of thinking, Brady and the Patriots…and their legacies… would’ve been better served by losing the ’07 and ’11 AFC title games to San Diego and Baltimore?
    Since when is 3 Conference Championships better than 5 Conference Championships?
    Simply put, we can never have a scenario where losing early in the postseason is viewed as favorable to losing the title game.
    Seems to me Brady has plenty of accomplishments to stand on even with the losses. More than just about everyone not named Montana.

  20. gisellichek says: Jul 19, 2012 1:20 PM

    electionconfidential says:Jul 18, 2012 5:49 PM

    The Pats haven’t won a SB since they stopped filming other team’s practices. They field good teams, but they also benefit from being in the AFC and thus they have a pretty easy road to the SB, especially last year with Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning hurt.

    I think they’ll come out a better team this year. Hightower is a good addition and Gronkowski should be better than ever. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go back to the SB, but I would be surprised to see them win it. The NFC just has too many strong teams.

    _______________________

    Standards are high among the Pats haters… The Pats have the best regular season winning percentage of any teams the last 10 seasons and have been to 5 Super Bowls… Honestly … do you really think taping defensive hand signals made them that successful… or could it be that we had really good players and awesome coaching…

    Just wondering…

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