The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing hardball with Dont'a Hightower. Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are excited about the news that several free agent prospect are coming to town for a visit, including New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Not only did they do the wine-and-dine thing, but they helped celebrate his 27th birthday (Sunday) by giving him cupcakes and posting a "Happy Birthday" greeting on screens around the team's facility. According to CBS Sports' Jason LaCanfora, the Jets are one of the favorites to land Hightower. Hightower, who has reportedly visited the Jets and is heading to visit the Steelers, is widely expected to re-sign with the Patriots.
Bouchette says the Steelers could bring linebacker Jarvis Jones back on a one-year prove it deal because they could get him cheap for a guy looking to increase his value on the free agent market next season.
Most every other position has been picked apart, and the Raiders haven't been in on it. Getting a guy like Zach Brown to fill their glaring middle linebacker spot could be their only chance to make any significant addition this free agency period. Even so, that may not be enough to lure Hightower away; after all, he has won two Super Bowls with the Patriots during his tenure.
Vikings Free Agency: Cordarrelle Patterson To The Raiders
He also turned in a career-high 52 receptions for 453 yards and two touchdowns to renew his stock as a receiver. In four seasons, he led the National Football League in kickoff return average three times.
Plus, the Jets would've had to shuffle their linebacking corps if Hightower signed.
Leaving without signing a contract is not unusual for most free agents. The Patriots are also apparently keen to retain him if they can.
While Bill Belichick has been able to craft defenses without superstar talent, the team just authorized a Stephon Gilmore $13 million-per-year payment.
The Jets have been in rebuilding mode since the end of their disappointing 5-11 season, parting ways with big names like Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold and Brandon Marshall.