Former Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower is currently a free agent. He became a free agent after his contract expired after the season ended. I was surprised no other team came to sign him, which leads to the question should the patriots bring him back to Foxborough?
Yes and no, I said both because right now, the Patriots have a full depth of linebackers in the team. Most of them are new and younger than Hightower; one thing Belichick like in his linebackers is speed and getting to the opponent quickly. Belichick is giving the youths a chance to shine and fill the shoes that once belong to Hightower. It will be interesting who will fill those shoes, and it will be a high competition among the linebackers for that number one spot.
However, if things don’t work out with the young players and the injury gods come calling, it will be sensible to bring Hightower back if he’s still available. Hightower is a veteran and experienced player, and he knows the system very well than any other defensive player in the team. Bringing him will be a low-risk move, he will bring experience, and he won’t contribute that much, just the most influential plays will do. And most importantly, if he does sign back, it will be a minimum contract.
Hightower is not the same player he once was. Last season he played 15 games but only registered 1.5 sacks and many tackles. The stat is underwhelming for his standard; his getting slower every game, and he’s too heavy as a linebacker. His 32 years old and still have enough football left, but time is running out for the three-time Superbowl champion. If the Patriots don’t sign him, he will fit into another team in the league. He won’t be a starter anymore, but he can be a good backup player for any team that has a star linebacker. I wish the Patriots will bring him back because he has been with the Patriots since he got drafted back in 2012 and has done great things for the Patriots. I don’t know if he can play linebacker effectively, but switching him to play defensive end will be a good option for the Patriots.