Meanwhile, Aditi Kinkhabwala reports that the Steelers told Hightower that their offer is off the table if he gets on a plane and leaves Pittsburgh. The Steelers clearly aren’t interested in getting in a bidding war with other teams including the Patriots.
- Aditi Kinkhabwala hears that there’s no deal between the Steelers and Hightower just yet and it appears as though he’s buying time to talk to the Patriots.
- Jason La Canfora reports that the Jets’ interest in Hightower “cannot be overstated.”
- According to La Canfora, the Steelers won’t make him a massive offer and the Patriots are still keeping a close eye on the situation.
Some had said that Hightower wanted to take in the free agent process and he appears to be doing just that, despite as multiple reports have said that teams believe he’ll end up returning to the Patriots in the end.
Hightower has now met with the Steelers and the Titans and Dolphins have also been mentioned as a potential landing spots. Although, recent reports have downplayed their level of interest at this point in time.
Hightower, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2012. He played out his rookie contract before the Patriots picked up his fifth-year option last year and is now testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
Hightower is bay far the best available players still available in this year’s free agent market and should be able to secure an impressive contract in the end.
In 2016, Hightower appeared in 13 games for the Patriots and recorded 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, two pass defenses and a safety. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 13 linebacker out of 87 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 50 Available Free Agents list.