Dont’a Hightower Free Agency Profile: Potential landing spots, contract situation, stats, and more

After 10 years in New England, Dont'a Hightower may find a new home in the 2022 free agency period, but what type of contract could he earn?

Dont’a Hightower is a highly experienced and accomplished linebacker and the 48th-ranked overall player on Pro Football Network’s Top 50 Free Agents list. What sort of contract could Hightower land during free agency, and what are his notable stats and accolades?

Dont’a Hightower: Free Agency Overview

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Hightower opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. One year after shedding some rust accumulated during that downtime, Hightower returned to the NFL. The veteran New England Patriots linebacker is a smart, tough competitor who can still help a team win football games.

Recapping Hightower’s 2021 season

A stout run-stopper, Hightower had 64 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 15 starts last season. He didn’t make as many big plays as previous seasons, recording just 1 tackle for loss and 4 quarterback hits.

Two seasons ago, before his time away from the game, Hightower had 5.5 sacks, 8 tackles for loss, and 13 quarterback hits.

Hightower’s contract estimate and salary cap implications

Hightower’s four-year, $35.5 million contract that included a $10 million signing bonus, $19 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $8.875 million has expired. It’s hard to think that he’ll make significantly less than his usual average.

Possible landing spots for Hightower

At this stage of his career, it makes the most sense for Hightower to remain with the Patriots for at least one or two more seasons. However, a variety of teams could use his services, such as the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

What they’re saying about Hightower

“He’s been good for us all year. One of our most consistent players. One of our best players. Smart player. Helps control the defense. Rarely out of position. Physical. Contact player. Thumper. Think he’s been solid all year.” — Bill Belichick on Hightower during a press conference last season.

“I’m in the ring business,” Hightower said when asked about being snubbed for the Pro Bowl. He has three Super Bowl rings and two Pro Bowl selections.

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