Hightower is no stranger to the spotlight now and clearly values playing in big time games as he will make less money in New England than he would in NY.
NY was also in the running for Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson, who opted to sign with the Ravens as well as Packers rusher Nick Perry, who stayed in Green Bay.
After reportedly being treated to cupcakes from the Jets on his birthday and sitting down with the Steelers two days later, the free-agent linebacker has made a decision to return to the Patriots, his agent announced.
Last season he finished with 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits. "We're waiting to see if he actually makes the trip". The metrics of Pro Football Reference stated that he had an approximate value of 14, which was double his previous high of seven. Last year, the Patriots were frustratingly slow-moving but made a number of small moves later in free agency.
Texans Have Interest in Patriots CB Butler
Bill Belichick has reportedly long coveted Cooks and planned on drafting him before the Saints traded up to snag him in 2014. All the signings could help the Saints next season, and the team didn't badly overpay for any of the players.
According to multiple sources Dont'a Hightower has signed a contract to return to the New England Patriots. If he could, he would have already signed it. However, at some point the price just isn't worth the player.
That is where the intangibles come in. If the financial packages were equal, New England would seem to have the inside track on his services.
Two years earlier in Super Bowl 49, Hightower tackled Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch at the 1-yard line with 1:06 to play. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick nearly did it in 2007 but they lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants.
Malcolm Butler (New England): Not technically on the market yet, but the Patriots could be moving on after signing Stephon Gilmore. Teams used to have to stop the run first. New England traded away Chandler Jones and Jamie Collinsbut held onto Hightower. However, the 27-year-old defensive star spent considerable time with the Jets in Florham Park on Sunday into Monday, before leaving without a contract. They are not likely to be competitive, but if fighting for a playoff spot is the goal, making another defensive splash has to be of utmost importance.