Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Were Jets ever interested in Patriots' Dont'a Hightower?

Were Jets ever interested in Patriots' Dont'a Hightower?

"Hightower is overrated and overhyped, partly because he made two key plays to help the Patriots win two Super Bowls, partly because he was a first-round draft pick and partly, well, because he played in New England", Bouchette writes.

Though championships are nothing new for Hightower, he did enjoy several career firsts in 2016.

Dont'a Hightower is a gifted player, and if the Jets do sign him, he would be one of the highest paid inside linebackers around. The deal is reported to be for four years and $43.5 million, with $19 million in guaranteed money. Carolina's Luke Kuechly remains the highest at $12.4 million per season. He may not come as an cheap buy, but if they are willing to pay over a dozen million, they may have some extra salary cap space to work with. Hightower was never publicly linked to the 49ers, who could have used him on the strong side of their new-look 4-3 defense next to NaVorro Bowman.

"They sent his mother Jets merchandise, they brought him out to dinner last night and had cupcakes given to him on his birthday", Schefter said on Monday's edition of NFL Insiders (per NFL.com "s transcription)".

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Hightower's agency, SportsTrust Advisors, tweeted the agreement Wednesday, and his agent, Pat Dye, Jr confirmed it.

One of those players is Dont'a Hightower. As you can see, on pass-rushing plays, Hightower's ability to get to affect the quarterback was profound. Over his first five National Football League seasons, Hightower has 404 tackles, 17 sacks, and 13 pass deflections. Hightower played 67.9 percent of the defensive snaps in the 2016 regular season, 54.2 percent in the 2015 regular season and 76.7 percent in the 2014 regular season.

Kyle Van Noy believes Hightower deserves every penny in the deal.

The Patriots continue to make un-Patriotlike offseason headlines. They've also signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore, defensive lineman Lawrence Guy and running back Rex Burkhead, traded for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, tight end Dwayne Allen and defensive end Kony Ealy, and re-signed defensive tackle Alan Branch and safety Duron Harmon.

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