Dont’a Hightower: I’d like to think LB trades mean Pats want me

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Linebacker Dont’a Hightower won’t be taking a trip to the White House, but the far more interesting question of his offseason is whether he will be leaving New England.

Hightower is set for unrestricted free agency next month as long as he doesn’t reach agreement on a new deal with the Patriots and the team doesn’t use the franchise tag to keep him off the open market. The Patriots were headed toward having three linebackers in that situation, but they traded Chandler Jones before the 2016 season and Jamie Collins during it to leave Hightower as the last man standing.

During a visit to ESPN on Wednesday, Hightower was asked is he thought that those deals boded well for his chances of sticking around New England.

“I’d like to think, but, again, guys can get put out and traded or whatever,” Hightower said, via CSNNE.com. “I’m just trying to go along with the ride right now and enjoy that Super Bowl victory. I’m sure in a couple weeks all that free agency stuff will pick up, and I’ll handle that whenever that comes.”

The Browns gave Collins a four-year deal worth $50 million and the franchise tag would pay Hightower in the neighborhood of $15 million for the 2017 season. Those numbers will likely play a role in talks between the linebacker and the Patriots over the next month as we move closer to finding out if Hightower will miss more than a White House visit with the team in 2017.

31 responses to “Dont’a Hightower: I’d like to think LB trades mean Pats want me

  1. Hightower is a winner. Won in college, winning in the NFL. His strip sack against was what turned the SB around. Huge momentum shift.

  2. Collins was not the brightest player ….athletically gifted mentally challenged. Hightower possesses both ability and intellect…a far different capability and something that is worth paying for.

  3. BB issued Hightower #54 for a reason. And Hightower is TOTALLY worthy of wearing the #54.

    You the man Zeus!

  4. seems I remember a story about BB being torn between Dont’a and Upshaw as the better prospect and Saban basically said Upshaw was more gifted physically but Dont’a was light years ahead in IQ.

    IDK but He’s physical enuff for the task at hand.
    Give Him a deal.

  5. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Feb 8, 2017 3:35 PM
    Hightower is a winner. Won in college, winning in the NFL. His strip sack against was what turned the SB around. Huge momentum shift.
    ———
    Hightower also had a key holding call that backed up Atlanta (I think) that turned a 2nd and 2 into a 2nd and 12.

    Trey Flowers got totally undersold for the way he played. He balled out and seems to be the forgotten man.

  6. Pats Fans want you Dont’A.

    Bill notoriously loves his linebackers who are on board with the scheme and Hightower sure seems like he is all in.

    5 years – 75 mil – 8 mil signing bonus?

  7. Nice player. The Sbowl strip sack, along with Edelman’s circus catch(which makes up for a couple), were the plays of the game. But he’s hurt a lot and misses a few gms every yr. They payed Mayo and he was always hurt too. Knowing the way the Pats do business and assess value, I think he’s gone. Some team will offer him more than the Pats want to pay.

  8. The Patriots wanted to resign Collins. The sides were too far apart and they parted ways. They kept Hightower because he was very important to 2016, but they also view him as they did McCourty as part of the fabric of the team. Wilfork got paid up until they thought his skills were diminished.

  9. .
    Olivier Vernon got a 5 year / 85 million dollar contract from the Giants last offseason. Hightower is clearly more valuable than Vernon . So, Vernon’s deal would be the floor and the floor is already too rich for the budget conscious Pats.

    He was a heck of a player who led the Patriots defense to two Lombardi Trophies in three years. I don’t blame him for wanting a well earned payday.
    .
    .

  10. Facts you forgot….Hightower didn’t attend the parade this year and didn’t go to the WH last time either.

    Been there, done that,” Dont’a Hightower said, also noting he didn’t go to White House in 2014 w/ Pats. Had previously been with Alabama.

  11. I think (hope) Pats will keep him – they’ll offer him enough, and he seems to want to stay.

    He is a tremendously valuable player, as a young inexperienced player he took over arguably the most important defensive role from Mayo and was immediately successful.

    Sign him.

  12. Hightower will get tagged at the least, sorry to disagree tedmurph.He will not hit FA. You can’t compare Olivier Vernon plays DE to LB which is another reason Chandler Jones was not getting signed. Hopefully Chris Long will stay for a market level deal.

  13. 6ball says:
    Feb 8, 2017 4:31 PM

    Olivier Vernon got a 5 year / 85 million dollar contract from the Giants last offseason. Hightower is clearly more valuable than Vernon . So, Vernon’s deal would be the floor and the floor is already too rich for the budget conscious Pats.
    ================

    Vernon is a DE, outside guys get paid more than inside guys. His contract is not the jumping off point.

    @cardreamer, Hightower was at the parade

  14. Ampats, I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I’m wrong all the time. But, do you really think the Pats tag Hightower for 14/15 mil? Sorry, I don’t. I think, in their minds, they’ll look at what they payed Mayo and say, hmmm; was it worth it? No diss on Mayo or Hightower as players.

  15. .
    Franchise numbers 2016

    Defensive End – 15.7 million

    Linebacker – 14.1 million

    There’s very little difference in the paychecks of defensive ends and linebackers.
    .

  16. Don’t want to come off like I think Hightower doesn’t deserve to get paid. He does, and he will. Just not sure it’s here.

    What DE is gonna be here besides Trey Flowers next year? Long, Ninkovich, Sheard? Doubtful. Sorry, I love this stuff.

  17. 6ball says:
    Feb 8, 2017 6:45 PM
    .
    Franchise numbers 2016

    Defensive End – 15.7 million

    Linebacker – 14.1 million

    There’s very little difference in the paychecks of defensive ends and linebackers.

    —–

    I’d take the difference in a heartbeat.

  18. murph – I love this stuff too.

    More so after a SB win !

    14 unrestricted free agents. Guess maybe they re-sigh 4-6? Love for it to be 10 or 11.

  19. Ya High has to be a priority. He is in the tradition of Ted Bruschi and Mayo the D would be far less formidable without him.

  20. Latest “rumor” out of the Boston sports media is that the Pats will probably used the ‘Franchise’ tag on Dont’a, which would pay him @ $17 million for next season. But, of course, this is still very much a “rumor”.

  21. I’d love to see him stay, but remember that middle linebackers age in dog-years and the Patriots already over paid for another favorite, Jerod Mayo, who descended quickly due to age and injuries.

    Someone will most certainly offer Hightower more than the Patriots, so he’ll need to take a hometown discount if he really wants to stay.

  22. BB loves “High” a. However….BB will do what is best for this team. If High and his agent try to squeeze too much BB will ship him off to obscurity with his money to Cleveland, Texas…etc. Don’t just ask Collin and Jones, ask Seymour, Vrabel, McGinnist, Vince, etc. It is about dollars and cents. BB does have more cap space this year, so some flexibility. High ain’t ever going to the Hall in Cleveland, however…..

  23. Hightower and Butler must be signed and signed soon. Then, sign a free agent linebacker with speed. Atlanta exposed the lack of speed of NE linebackers eg. Ninkovich.

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