NFL News Story - Patriots re-sign coveted Pro Bowl LB Dont'a Hightower

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Patriots re-sign coveted Pro Bowl LB Dont'a Hightower

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots Dont'a Hightower folllows the action during NFL football's Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons in Houston. A person with direct knowledge of the situation says Hightower has visited the New York Jets. Hightower, one of the most coveted players in free agency this year, met with the Jets on Sunday, March 12, 2017 and Monday, March 13, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the visit. AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)


AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) The Patriots have re-signed Pro Bowl linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

Hightower's agency, SportsTrust Advisors, tweeted the agreement on Wednesday and his agent Pat Dye, Jr confirmed it. The new pact is for four years and $43.5 million.

It brings back one of the Patriots' biggest free agents, who has helped New England win two Super Bowls in his five NFL seasons. He has 372 tackles and 17 sacks since being a first-round pick out of Alabama in 2012.

He also had one of the biggest plays in last month's Super Bowl. He forced a fumble on a sack on Atlanta's Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter, helping swing the momentum New England's way in its comeback 34-28 overtime victory.

Hightower, 27, took free agent visits with both the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, but will return to captain a defense that allowed a league-low 15.6 points per game during the regular-season in 2016.


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Updated March 15, 2017

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