One of the NFL’s top remaining free agents might stay put after all.
A Saturday report from The MMQB’s Albert Breer suggests the New England Patriots are favorites to re-sign Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
The Tennessee Titans are among several teams pursuing Hightower, who hails from the Nashville area. But the veteran linebacker, who turned 27 on Sunday, reportedly could demand a contract worth $10 million to $13 million annually, which might price Tennessee and others out of the market.
ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss also reported Saturday that a “linebacker-needy NFL team” didn’t see Hightower as a fit in its system.
“One example was that one of Hightower’s best assets is his rush ability, and this particular team doesn’t use its linebackers that way,” Reiss wrote.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound linebacker indeed possesses a unique skill set that has helped him thrive in New England. He was named defensive captain in 2016 and was one of the most impactful players on a Patriots defense that allowed the fewest points per game in the NFL last season.
The chase for Hightower certainly isn’t over, but the fact he’s still on the market this many days in free agency seems to bode well for the Patriots’ chances of bringing him back.
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