It may have taken a little longer than expected but Dont'a Hightower will be back in New England after all. His agency, SportsTrust Advisors, broke the news via Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
Hightower made the free agent rounds, reportedly talking with Tennessee, Miami, the Jets and Pittsburgh before choosing to stay put. The reported numbers – four years, $43.5 million with $19 guaranteed – indicate the linebacker likely could have made more elsewhere but chose to stay in New England.
The 27-year-old Hightower is one of the leaders of the Patriots defense, holding things together last season in the aftermath of the Jamie Collins trade. His presence was vital off the field, and on it his versatility and play-making ability were instrumental in the team's latest Super Bowl victory.