Former Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower Announces Retirement

Veteran LB Dont’a Hightower announced he is retiring from the NFL in an essay for the Player’s Tribune. 

Hightower was out of football last year after playing his entire nine-year career in New England. 

He never put up huge stats but he was a vital piece on the defense and a big part of the success the Patriots had in the last decade. 

Hightower, 33, is a former first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2012 out of Alabama. He played out his rookie contract before the Patriots picked up his fifth-year option. Hightower played out the option and tested free agency.

Ultimately, Hightower returned to the Patriots on a four-year, $35.5 million contract that included $19 million guaranteed. He made a base salary of $8 million for the 2021 season and played out that deal. 

For his career, Hightower appeared in 117 games over nine seasons with the Patriots. He recorded 569 total tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 27 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, five recoveries, including two returned for touchdowns, 18 pass deflections and one safety. 

He was twice selected to the Pro Bowl and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2016. Hightower also won three Super Bowls in New England. 

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