Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Linebacker Hightower returns to Patriots on $43.5M deal

Linebacker Hightower returns to Patriots on $43.5M deal

New England Patriots middle linebacker Dont'a Hightower (54) reacts after a tackle in the third quarter during Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons on February 5 at NRG Stadium.

Money wasn't necessarily the reason the Jets dropped out of the Dont'a Hightower sweepstakes after his visit with the team Monday.

A source told NJ.com that the Jets were "not comfortable" offering Hightower a deal once they learned of his physical condition. It was here where things went bad.

It should be noted that the Patriots are well aware of Hightower's medical history, and they awarded him with a four-year deal worth $43.5 million with $19 million guaranteed.

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This was a sign that Hightower had given his Patriots a home-town discount, right? Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Thursday night that the Jets initially offered Hightower a five-year deal worth $62.5 million but balked at it after the results of Hightower's physical.

There were surely concerns with Hightower's health, which has come into question in recent years. He appeared in 16 games during a single season just once in his career.

If the Jets did sign Hightower, assuming he was healthy, he would have been an improvement on defense.

Hightower was named a team captain last season and finished with 65 tackles, 2 1⁄2 sacks and two passes defensed.

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