NFL Rumors: Patriots, Jets ‘Leading The Pack’ Of Dont’a Hightower Suitors

by NESN Staff

March 12, 2017

A classic AFC East rivalry might spill over into the offseason.

The New England Patriots and New York Jets are the front-runners to sign linebacker Dont’a Hightower in free agency,’s Jason La Canfora reported Sunday.

The Patriots have remained in the mix to re-sign their 2016 defensive captain — a report surfaced Saturday that one NFL team is “convinced” Hightower will return to New England, and Hightower reportedly is open to staying with the Pats.

But the Pro Bowl linebacker, who turned 27 on Sunday, has plenty of other suitors, including the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders.

Apparently you can add the Jets to that group, as New York seems interested in poaching Hightower from its division rival. The Jets certainly could use help on the defensive side of the ball, as they allowed 25.6 points per game last season, fifth-most in the NFL.

Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images

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