This move will run the Patriots $7.751 million for the 2016 season. However, this figure is guaranteed for injury only and wouldn’t prevent them from working out a long-term deal that would come with a lower cap figure.
Hightower, 25, was in the final year of his four-year, $7,724,002 rookie contract that included $6,280,729 guaranteed. He’ll make a base salary of $1,443,273 for the 2015 season.
In 2014, Hightower appeared in 12 games for the Patriots and recorded 89 tackles, six sacks, a forced fumble and two pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 inside linebacker out of 60 qualifying players.