Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower, S Patrick Chung & OT Marcus Cannon Planning To Return For 2021

     

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower, S Patrick Chung, and OT Marcus Cannon are all planning to return to the team for the 2021 season after opting out of last season. 

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According to Rapoport, all of these players are in a good place physically.

Hightower, 30, 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. 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 stands to make a base salary of $8 million for the 2021 season. 

In 2019, Hightower appeared in 15 games for the Patriots and recorded 71 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown and four pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 17 linebacker out of 89 qualifying players.

Cannon, 32, is a former fifth-round pick of the Patriots back in 2011. He was in the final year of his three-year, $9 million contract when the Patriots signed him to a five-year extension worth $32.5 million and included $14.5M guaranteed.

Cannon stands to make a base salary of $4,700,000 for the 2021 season. 

In 2019, Cannon appeared in 15 games for the Patriots, making 15 starts for them at right tackle. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 36 tackle out of 82 qualifying players last year.

Chung, 33, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2009. He spent four years in New England before departing for a three-year deal with the Eagles in 2014.

Chung lasted just a year in Philadelphia before being released and later re-signed by the Patriots. He’s signed multiple extensions with New England.

Chung was set to make base salaries of $2.9 million and $1.9 million over the next two years when he signed a two-year extension through the 2023 season with the Patriots last year. 

In 2019, Chung appeared in 13 games for the Patriots and recorded 51 tackles, no sacks or interceptions and three pass defenses.

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