28-Year-Old Linebacker – New England Patriots
2018 Fantasy Football Outlook
A torn pectoral muscle limited Hightower to just five games and 14 tackles in 2017. When healthy, which he was as training camp approached, the 28-year-old linebacker is one of the leaders of the Patr...
Dont'a Hightower Contract Information:
Signed to a four-year deal by the Patriots in July of 2012.
Hightower (pectoral) was a full participant in OTAs on Thursday, Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2018 Proj||28||NE||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for Dont'a Hightower|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|21||PRO BOWL||Pro Bowl|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Dont'a Hightower: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Hightower finished up the 2016 season with 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 13 regular-season games, numbers that put him on the IDP radar in deeper formats. The 27-year-old dabbled in free agency this past offseason but wound up re-signing with New England, landing a four-year, $43.5 million deal. With Hightower, who has been New England's defensive signal-caller over the past two seasons, now back in the fold for the foreseeable future, he'll remain entrenched as the team's starting middle linebacker.
When healthy, Hightower is a key component in the Patriots' run defense and a serviceable IDP in the process. In 12 games this past season, Hightower managed to record 61 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Hightower is slated to reprise his role Patriots' starting middle linebacker and could well top 100 tackles for the first time in his career if he is able to avoid the injury bug.
The 25-year-old linebacker -- who recorded 89 tackles and six sacks in 12 games last season -- underwent shoulder surgery back on Feb. 10. As a result, his status for the Patriots' regular-season opener has yet to be solidified, but assuming his health, he slots in as a starter in a New England linebacking corps that also features stalwarts Jerod Mayo and Jamie Collins.
With Brandon Spikes gone to Buffalo, New England's four-man logjam at linebacker (Hightower, Spikes, Mayo and Collins) has been reduced to three, leaving Hightower with his first real chance to provide a decent return on the first-round investment New England made in him two years ago. Mayo will remain unchallenged for snaps, but Collins is only in his second year and should generally play third fiddle. Collins also might see some snaps at end in passing situations, leaving room for all three players. Hightower has some edge ability himself, so he too could get some pass-rushing opportunities at end after posting five sacks in his first two years.
Hightower is in line to start at strongside linebacker for the Patriots. As a rookie, the 2012 first-rounder recorded 60 tackles in 14 games, a number he should easily eclipse this coming season.
The Patriots moved up on draft day to select Hightower -- a linebacker who can play either on the inside or outside -- 25th overall. We'd expect the Alabama product to claim the team's starting strong-side position, a gig that figures to give him some fantasy upside in the Patriots' re-tooled defense.