Philip Tor | Pats Militia
Pretty interesting situation we got here with Hightower. Patriots have reportedly told Hightower that they will not place the franchise tag on him and will now be able to test the market as an unrestricted free agent. The Patriots will now not have to pay out the potential $14 million dollar franchise tag, and hopefully uses that money to bring him back in free agency.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2017
I think the Patriots have a good chance of resigning Hightower, who has played a big role in the defense since the trades of both Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins, and the retirement of Jerod Mayo last season. Hightower was also the hero of Super Bowl 51 after he strip sacked Matt Ryan to help the Patriots make the epic comeback. Hightower has been a consistent performer since being drafted out of Alabama with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. Despite battling a few small injuries, Hightower has played in at at least 12 games ever season for New England, and has had more than 60 tackles every year.
Like I said earlier, I would be surprised if Hightower was not a Patriot next season. His role is solidified, he is a centerpiece in a young and upcoming defense, and he has the opportunity to play on a playoff team every year. Name another place that can give Hightower that. From what I hear Hightower has been linked to teams like the Giants, 49er’s, Dolphins, and Broncos.
This news comes on a rather busy NFL news day, as Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was cut, and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has also been notified he will not be franchise tagged.
If Hightower does get released it will be interesting to see what pieces Belichick brings in to replace him and the other pieces that will be leaving New England.