Linebacker Hightower returns to Patriots on $43.5M deal

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The contract has a max value of $62.5 million if Hightower was to be active for every game during the five-year span, and made the Pro Bowl each year.

With adding depth and bolstering their offense with signing of WR Brandon Cook from New Orleans now they turn to their defensive side already acquiring 27 yr old LB Stephon Gilmore they get back their best player in Dont'a Hightower.

Free agent linebackerDont'a Hightower is set to return to the New England Patriots.

He missed three games last season due to injuries.

Not so fast. According to MMQB's Albert Breer, the Jets actually pulled their initial contract offer to Hightower after he conducted a physical.

Hightower was paid $7,751,000 in 2016 after New England picked up the fifth-year option on his four-year rookie deal, which was worth $7,724,002.

Hightower reportedly met with the Jets and Steelers before agreeing to terms with the Patriots.

McCourty happily anchors the secondary as a team captain while earning $6.5 million in base salary in 2017 on his five-year, $47.5 million deal.

The difference in the two teams' attitude about Hightower's overall health after five National Football League seasons ultimately contributed to the Patriots putting together an offer that Hightower deemed to be more than good enough, given his history with the team. Hightower should do the same for the front-seven for years to come on his new deal.

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