Dont’a Hightower gets $43.5 million, $19 million guaranteed

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The Patriots went into last offseason with linebackers Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower all set to be free agents after the 2017 season.

After re-signing with the team on Wednesday, Hightower is the last one left in New England. They traded Jones to Arizona before last season and dealt Collins to the Browns during the season. Both of them also signed long-term deals with their new teams and they cost a good deal more than Hightower.

Multiple reports citing Hightower’s agents peg his deal with the Patriots as a four-year pact worth up to $43.5 million with $19 million guaranteed. Collins got $50 million and $26 million guaranteed over the same term while Jones’ five-year deal with the Cardinals came in at $82.5 million with $53 million guaranteed.

The three players bring different things to the field and have different medical histories, so an apples-to-apples comparison doesn’t work out. It does appear that the Patriots got a good deal for a player who consistently makes impactful plays on defense by letting him test the market over the last week.

It also appears choosing Hightower over the other two players left the Patriots with cap space to use in a variety of moves. Hightower, safety Duron Harmon and defensive tackle Alan Branch are back alongside incoming cornerback Stephon Gilmore, tight end Dwayne Allen, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive end Kony Ealy, running back Rex Burkhead and defensive end Lawrence Guy with cornerback Malcolm Butler’s situation among those still to play out with just under six months to go until Week One.

112 responses to “Dont’a Hightower gets $43.5 million, $19 million guaranteed

  1. But…but…but…Ted Thompson told me winning teams don’t use free agency to improve their rosters!

  2. Translation: Hightower will be traded before the deadline next year or the year after, once a cheaper player emerges. #PatriotsLoyalty

    -Chandler Jones

  3. Well, his choice was between getting a little less money and retaining some personal pride, or more money and playing for the Jets. Easy choice – welcome back, Dont’a!

  4. stainlessstill says:

    Mar 15, 2017 2:02 PM
    Lmao, WAY too much!

    —————————————-

    He is worth every penny, it was just a question of how much Bill was gonna have to match to keep him in town. This is as win/win as you can get…

  5. trollaikman8 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:11 PM

    This is unlike Bill. 9-7 incoming.

    ======

    Based on….. what exactly?

    Pats have got indisputably better this off season and they still have the draft ahead of them.

  6. barsfordays says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:10 PM

    How do the Pats continue to do this? Hightower, Cooks, Ealy, Gilmore, Dwayne Allen…. Jeez. Good luck dethroning them

    _________________________________

    I suspect the conversation goes like this:

    Player: What are you offering me?

    BB: Well we won’t pay you top dollar, however we do often provide free trips to the super bowl.

    Player: Where do I sign?

  7. stainlessstill says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:02 PM
    Lmao, WAY too much!

    In the last 2 SB the patriots WON
    Hightower stopped Lynch on the 1 before the Butler int
    Then this year sacked Ryan to force the punt

    Lmao…jealous fan

  8. johnthorpe says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:12 PM

    I can’t wait for a decade’s worth of 5-11 seasons.

    As a life long Pats fan, I know that decade is coming someday, the king doesn’t stay the king forever. But I have a 19 year old son who doesn’t have memories of the Pats not being SB contenders. You cant buy the memories that the Patriots have supplied us for the past 15+ years. The end may come, but its not next year! Go Pats!

  9. Trolls calling Hightower overhyped or overrated obviously didn’t watch Super Bowls 49 and 51.

  10. Comment from above:
    “Patriots over-paying for over-hyped players. Doesn’t matter, they play in the AFC East.”

    Hmmmmm? Then the NFL must be loaded to the brim with overhyped players who never even sniffed a SB. I think you got it backwards dude. The Patriots ‘underhyped’ players just keep on winning championships. & the Patriots don’t over pay anyone. Not even the greatest QB of all time (TB12); who certainly deserves it more than anyone in the NFL! Methinks yer barkin up da rong tree here fella! The Patriots game plan is get “Good talented players” who fit into their system. Coach the ones who are capable up to being great—-into being great. Then let someone else overpay for them if they are replaceable. It’s worked for 7 Super Bowls (5 wins).

  11. Lol look at the Patriots homers saying this is the best contract ever. Any other team who gave him the exact same thing would say “oh you are overpaying, you guys suck we are awesome cause I play on the Patriots”

    #doublestandards

  12. In light of the Patriots completely outmaneuvering the rest of the League and being favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl, Roger Goodell is giving the other 31 teams compensatory 1st round picks in this year draft to level the playing field.

  13. ampats says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:12 PM

    Hightower prefers Patriots rings over Jets cupcakes

    —————————————————————-

    ^^ You win the internet today. ^^

  14. .
    The Patriots have a few core guys. Hightower and McCourty were their mainstays on defense. Piece by piece the 2017 retooled edition is being shaped.

    One advantage Belichick has over rival GMs is that he has earned total autonomy, and can basically make any deal he wants without concern about negative press, irate talk show callers, fans, and even ownership. People often wonder why other teams trade with the Patriots on draft day. Part of the reason is that you can get an immediate answer. The other team does not want to waste their time on the clock while a staff meeting is convened.
    .

  15. In the last 2 SB the patriots WON
    Hightower stopped Lynch on the 1 before the Butler int
    Then this year sacked Ryan to force the punt
    ———————

    Didn’t say he didn’t make those plays, did I? Still WAY too much and overpriced, regardless.

    For the record, the Pats recovered the strip sack. No forced punt was necessary. Typical bandwagon Pats fan that probably shut the television off by that point and missed it. Just like they did before Seattle was dumb enough not to run Lynch on the 1.

  16. jspeedbar says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:23 PM

    johnthorpe says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:12 PM

    I can’t wait for a decade’s worth of 5-11 seasons.

    _______________

    No doubt,that will happen. I’m just glad I got to see the Pats win 5 Super Bowls (so far) in my lifetime. I was a fan when they were awful too. People forget how long Pats fans suffered before Robert Kraft bought the team. We HAVE been there.

  17. This is a fair contract for both sides considering that the Pats wanted to keep him a little more desperately than they are maybe letting on.

  18. johnthorpe says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:12 PM

    I can’t wait for a decade’s worth of 5-11 seasons.

    —————————————————-

    We’ll see. No doubt it’s not going to be the same when Brady goes, but I don’t see perennial losing seasons.

    The old adage football is offense, defense, and special teams. I think in the age of free agency, you have to put front office work equal to the other three. Kraft is a great owner- that’s helps. he was a meddler early on, but seems to have learned his lesson. And undoubtedly the Pats next head coach is likely to come from within- rather than the changing turn-style of coaching bad teams seem to do.

    It will be interesting, that’s for sure. Time is probably better spent improving the team you root for, rather than waiting to revel for the Patriots to suck- if ever.

  19. The Pats won 1 legitimate one against the Eagles. The Rams/Panthers were won by Adam Vinatieri and they were handed 2 by the Seahawks and Falcons impeccable incompetence.

  20. I find it funny that a Ravens fan talks about the AFC East being soft yet the AFC North has been on the decline to the point of it being hysterical. This was a discount all things considered he either had the choice of playing for the Jets for more money or play with the Patriots for less money, but more chances for glory. Looks like Dont’a chose glory and accomplishments over money.

  21. swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:04 PM
    Patriots over-paying for over-hyped players. Doesn’t matter, they play in the AFC East.

    —–

    Doesn’t matter what you say the Pats are world champs, again.

  22. Before the year, I think they offered him $10M / per, so it’s not much of an increase or “overpay”.
    ————
    Great job by the Jets organization driving up the price and making the patriots over pay.

  23. johnthorpe says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:12 PM
    I can’t wait for a decade’s worth of 5-11 seasons.

    —–

    Your patience over the last years is very commendable.

  24. stainlessstill says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:52 PM

    The Pats won 1 legitimate one against the Eagles. The Rams/Panthers were won by Adam Vinatieri and they were handed 2 by the Seahawks and Falcons impeccable incompetence.
    …………..

    I’m going to assume you’re just trolling here. The only alternative to that would be to think that you’re a 12-year old idiot with no comprehension of the game of football whatsoever.

  25. “Coach the ones who are capable up to being great—-into being great. Then let someone else overpay for them if they are replaceable. It’s worked for 7 Super Bowls (5 wins).”

    _____

    I am surprised you didn’t throw in over-used cliches like “do your job”.

    That is not the formula. The formula is to play only home playoff games because you play in the AFC East, and then hope that opposing Super Bowl coaches choke. You might add, pray 10 rosaries that Edelman doesn’t get hurt.

  26. stainlessstill says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:52 PM

    The Pats won 1 legitimate one against the Eagles. The Rams/Panthers were won by Adam Vinatieri and they were handed 2 by the Seahawks and Falcons impeccable incompetence.

    ————————————————————-

    This is a silly/stupid ignorant comment.

    Howevwer, it should be mentioned that Viniateri missed 2 field goals against Carolina- and it was a second half shootout. So no Brady no ring in that game.

  27. Goodell, with Woody Johnson and Jim Irsay at his side, just announced the Patriots will be fined one offensive play (three downs instead of four), during all posessions in 2017 for conduct detrimental to the league. Goodell would not elaborate but sources indicated that the detrimental conduct is they win too much.

  28. The Pats off season has been fantastic. I don’t even care we don’t have a draft pick until the 3rd round. How many rookies would make this team anyway? Not many.

  29. Don’t forget, they won last year without Gronk and with Brady missing four games.

    Goodell might have helped not only motivate the Psts in 2016, he may have helped Brady stay healthy.

  30. swagger52 says:

    That is not the formula. The formula is to play only home playoff games because you play in the AFC East
    *************************************************
    The Patriots went to Pittsburgh for 2 AFC title games, won both, and went on to win the SB both years. That’s 40% of their SB wins.

    Either you have a poor memory, or you choose to ignore any data that does not support your silly argument.

  31. It’s actually a great deal for the Pats seeing as how their players play an extended season every year as opposed to going home each year after 16 games. More bang for the buck.

  32. donewithhotdogs says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:20 PM

    Dream teams never work out. Just ask Vince Young.
    ————————————————————

    There is a difference between true dream teams and “what the heck are you smoking” dream teams. Not sure where next years Patriots team will fall into however I’m positive Vince Youngs dream team fell under the whatcha smoking catagory.

  33. @swagger52

    Just a quick question, if playing in a division with some bad teams is the reason the pats get to SB, never mind win them because of coaches “choking” (lets not even bring up the fact they lost 2 because of incredibly fluky plays in the last couple of minutes of each game)

    what is the reason for your team’s lack of success of the years? Just curious…….

  34. stainlessstill says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:02 PM
    Lmao, WAY too much!

    In the last 2 SB the patriots WON
    Hightower stopped Lynch on the 1 before the Butler int
    Then this year sacked Ryan to force the punt

    Lmao…jealous fan

    _________________________________________
    dont forget about the sack force fumble in the 4th that allowed us (yes I’m a Patriot at heart) to get the tying score.

  35. Hard to bet against the Patriots in 2017. Does anyone see a better team? I don’t right now. It also depends how some borderline teams do in this year’s draft. Is there another Tom Brady or Dak Prescott? You never know but I am thinking, probably not.

    The Patriots currently have odds of 6-1 to win SB LII. Atlanta is next at 12-1. Coach Mike Ditka would say, “Those numbers are for people with bad habits”. Take the Pats I say.

  36. Red/Russell went 11 for 13 then Auerbach was part of
    three more championships .It is difficult for somebody
    my age to contemplate these words —– Bill Belicheck
    is now equal to Red Auerbach .The sport and the times are different but Brady /Belicheck have won 5 out of 7
    and that mark just like the Celts of old is unmatched in their respective leagues .

  37. If the Pats traded both Butler and Garappolo, then they could actually be looking at collecting 3 (Three!) first round picks and maybe a 2nd or another 3rd on top.

    Let that sink in haters. It can still get much worse, for you.

  38. I have to admire Hightower for signing what I’d call a team-friendly contract (the guarantee is less than half the total contract value.)

    He understands his health situation in the same way that Belichick does. He also understands what winning means as an offset to the grind of coming to work every day. The respect between him and Belichick/Patricia is obvious and there’s no substitute for it.

    The man plays excellent football, and you never hear a discouraging word – even when he’s playing through a lot of hurt (SB49.)

    A win-win.

  39. aballinhighgrass says:
    Mar 15, 2017 3:16 PM

    The Pats off season has been fantastic. I don’t even care we don’t have a draft pick until the 3rd round. How many rookies would make this team anyway? Not many.
    ***********************************************
    Call it the Cyrus Jones effect.

    When a highly regarded 2nd round pick from a top program can perform as poorly as Jones did last year, it does provide some incentive to trade picks for established players.

    At least you know what you’re getting.

    Maybe Jones will end up being a good player, or he may be pumping gas in a year or two.

  40. But…but…but…Ted Thompson told me winning teams don’t use free agency to improve their rosters!
    ===

    The same man that employs Dom Capers………….

  41. Hightower was never going anywhere. He is the defensive captain of the team. He was always going to re-sign, it was just a question of for how much.

    His visits with other teams was to establish a fair market value to pin his new contract to, and the Patriots, as is typical, paid just a bit less than that. If the Pats had just come up with a number out of thin air, Dont’a would always wonder if he was getting screwed.

    This way he knows he’s getting paid right, and the Pats have their captain back as a happy camper. Win-win.

    And they will probably do the exact same thing with Butler next year if his agent is smart enough to let them.

  42. exodus316 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:29 PM
    Trolls calling Hightower overhyped or overrated obviously didn’t watch Super Bowls 49 and 51.

    Of Course they weren’t watching because their team wasn’t playing . The other two teams , well I imagine their fans were watching and whishing they didn’t

  43. This is why the Pats let him walk. He can talk to other teams and find out his fair market value. He can re-sign with the Pats with peace of mind over what he is worth, and the Pats don’t over-pay by a penny. They did the same thing with McCourty. Let the other teams do the negotiating for you.

  44. It’s comical that Patriot fans think other team’s fans are jealous of them because they are Patriot fans. Please explain what is it that makes other fans jealous? You do realize anyone could just become a Patriot fan on any day? Just like 99% of Patriot fans did on February 3rd, 2002.

  45. The Pats won 1 legitimate one against the Eagles. The Rams/Panthers were won by Adam Vinatieri and they were handed 2 by the Seahawks and Falcons impeccable incompetence.

    ____________________________

    For the record the pattsies were illegally recording the Eagles practices and this too should be NON-Legit…

    Although one would and should say Falcons and Seahawks absolutely gifted the last two rings…

  46. what is the reason for your team’s lack of success of the years? Just curious…….

    ________________

    The AFC North typically has 3 playoff caliber teams that play physical football prone to creating injuries. The have to play away games on Monday night, Thursday night, London.

    It isn’t just the AFC East, it is the NFL scheduler. How many Thursday night away games have the Patriots played? Like Brady said this year…I enjoy staying up to watch Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night. Exactly, Brady and the Patriots get to play Sunday day games every year. It is disgusting.

  47. saints737 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:00 PM

    Wonder how many draft picks they’re get docked in the next few years. You know it’s coming, like clockwork
    ———————————————————
    Hopefully the NFL front office and the other 31 teams are done with their cheating schemes after the last one backfired.

    The NFL still owes the fans a press release containing the PSI numbers that were collected during the 2015 season.

  48. 1. Let’s talk about division strength

    Bill. 200-71 with the Pats

    In division 74-27 wp.732

    Out of division 126-44 wp .741

    I have not gone back and adjusted to the prior alignment but do not believe there is a significant impact

    Can we put to rest the myth of the AFCE being the reason for the continued excellence and just acknowledge they have sustained it against any competition?

  49. randytheraiderloveboy says:
    Mar 15, 2017 5:24 PM

    Wow, Bill finally blinked on an overpay. Did tammy approve?
    ————————————————————-
    Not going to judge.
    But clearly anyone that calls Mr. Tom Brady by female sounding names must have a fantasy going on in their minds.

  50. joetorontoisaclown says:
    Mar 15, 2017 4:59 PM
    It’s comical that Patriot fans think other team’s fans are jealous of them because they are Patriot fans. Please explain what is it that makes other fans jealous
    ——————————
    The team is constantly successful and other fan bases don’t like it.

  51. swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 3:11 PM
    “Coach the ones who are capable up to being great—-into being great. Then let someone else overpay for them if they are replaceable. It’s worked for 7 Super Bowls (5 wins).”

    _____

    I am surprised you didn’t throw in over-used cliches like “do your job”.

    That is not the formula. The formula is to play only home playoff games because you play in the AFC East, and then hope that opposing Super Bowl coaches choke. You might add, pray 10 rosaries that Edelman doesn’t get hurt.

    ———-

    Since the Patriots historic winning % is the exact same inside and outside the AFC East, you could literally place them in any division and they’d still have a 1st round bye and playoff home games….but that fact wrecks your “theory” so I knew you wouldn’t write the rest of this out for us.

  52. Typical bandwagon Pats fan that probably shut the television off by that point and missed it. Just like they did before Seattle was dumb enough not to run Lynch on the 1.
    ——————–
    and the pats left plaxico in single coverage with 35 seconds left to lose a superbowl. what’s your point?

  53. swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 5:06 PM
    what is the reason for your team’s lack of success of the years? Just curious…….

    ________________

    The AFC North typically has 3 playoff caliber teams that play physical football prone to creating injuries. The have to play away games on Monday night, Thursday night, London.

    It isn’t just the AFC East, it is the NFL scheduler. How many Thursday night away games have the Patriots played? Like Brady said this year…I enjoy staying up to watch Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night. Exactly, Brady and the Patriots get to play Sunday day games every year. It is disgusting.
    —————————
    They played 3 games, not on a sunday. Five of their games were at 830pm, not a day game. next…

  54. Patriots bandwagon, full since the 70’s. The ones that jumped on after the Patriots started winning every year weren’t born yet so we have to cut them some slack.

  55. swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 5:06 PM

    The AFC North typically has 3 playoff caliber teams that play physical football prone to creating injuries.
    ————————————————————-
    Where was this “physical football” when the Patriots played each of these supposedly tough AFC North teams this year (including the Steelers twice) and went 5-0?

  56. The AFC North typically has 3 playoff caliber teams

    Like hell. The Bengals were horrible for years, between them and the Browns, the Steelers and Ravens got an automatic 4-0 cushion every year.

  57. I concede that the Patriot team has been good for many years. The Patriots in the black and white jerseys are especially tough to beat. The Patriots that do the scheduling are tough to beat as well. When was the last time the Patriots played on Thanksgiving or Christmas?

  58. YESSS!!! this is the best news that I have heard this offseason.

    Cooks is a good acquisition if he can assimilate to a DO YOUR JOB team too. But after Jones and Collins I was doubting we could lose DH too!

  59. swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 8:21 PM

    When was the last time the Patriots played on Thanksgiving or Christmas?
    ————————————————————-
    You know the fans of the other teams have hit absolute rock bottom when this is the best argument they can come up with.

  60. stainlessstill says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:52 PM

    The Pats won 1 legitimate one against the Eagles. The Rams/Panthers were won by Adam Vinatieri and they were handed 2 by the Seahawks and Falcons impeccable incompetence.
    ==================================

    By your standards, only a handful of teams have won legitimate Super Bowls….duh.

  61. Two out of the last three Super Bowls, and it should have been three straight except for that missed extra point that gifted the Broncos their win.

    Pats were all beat up and still should have the three….but I am happy with the two and five overall…..

  62. None of it matters when you have Brady at QB. Moves, non-moves, drafts, etc. BillChick is not a genius, he has Brady.

  63. swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 8:21 PM

    I concede that the Patriot team has been good for many years. The Patriots in the black and white jerseys are especially tough to beat. The Patriots that do the scheduling are tough to beat as well. When was the last time the Patriots played on Thanksgiving or Christmas?
    ==================================

    Thanksgiving: 1984, 2000, 2002, 2010, 2012

    Christmas (Day or Eve actually): 2003, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016

    I may have missed a couple C. Eve ones.

  64. People are always trying to say that the AFCE is the weakest division. Two teams out of four made the playoffs last season. I would bet the AFCE won more games against the other divisions than they lost!

  65. I concede that the Patriot team has been good for many years. The Patriots in the black and white jerseys are especially tough to beat. The Patriots that do the scheduling are tough to beat as well. When was the last time the Patriots played on Thanksgiving or Christmas?

    NFL does not play on Christmas as evidenced this year.

    Patriots played on Thanksgiving in 2010 and 2012. You of course realize that there are only three games played one of which must include the Cowboys

    any other questions?

  66. rclindhe says:
    Mar 16, 2017 1:06 AM
    swagger52 says:
    Mar 15, 2017 8:21 PM

    I concede that the Patriot team has been good for many years. The Patriots in the black and white jerseys are especially tough to beat. The Patriots that do the scheduling are tough to beat as well. When was the last time the Patriots played on Thanksgiving or Christmas?
    ==================================

    Thanksgiving: 1984, 2000, 2002, 2010, 2012

    Christmas (Day or Eve actually): 2003, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016

    I may have missed a couple C. Eve ones.
    ———————————————————
    * Throw in a trip to London (Gronks best TD dance to date)and they’ll be in Mexico this year.
    *How many times have they had to play a Monday night game followed by a Sunday game? Lots.
    * Because they finish first in the division every year means they have to play the division leaders in the conference every year
    The haters continue to try and come up with a narrative that explains, in negative terms, the Pats success but can’t seem to come around to the fact that it’s all based on a consistent model and hard work.

  67. stainlessstill says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:52 PM
    The Pats won 1 legitimate one against the Eagles. The Rams/Panthers were won by Adam Vinatieri and they were handed 2 by the Seahawks and Falcons impeccable incompetence.
    ———
    So sad! Makes me smile inside though. Thank you Tom and Bill.

  68. tigerlilac says:
    Mar 15, 2017 3:17 PM

    Don’t forget, they won last year without Gronk and with Brady missing four games.

    Goodell might have helped not only motivate the Psts in 2016, he may have helped Brady stay healthy.
    ==================================

    Maybe that’s one reason to keep Garopollo, to have Brady be able to rest the equivalent of 3-4 games…

  69. johnthorpe says:
    Mar 15, 2017 2:12 PM

    I can’t wait for a decade’s worth of 5-11 seasons.
    —————————-

    You should expect more out of the team you root for.

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