Another one of this year’s marquee free agents will soon be off the market.
Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who’s met with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets while continuing to discuss a new deal with the New England Patriots, is set to make his long-awaited decision Wednesday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Those involved in the process, Rapoport adds, expect that Hightower will end up striking a new deal to remain with the Patriots.
Hightower has been a key contributor for the ever-steady New England defense since being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft.
It was unclear heading into the offseason whether the Patriots would be willing to meet a price tag that figures to put him among the NFL’s highest-paid inside linebackers, but the reigning Super Bowl champions do still have plenty of cap space to utilize.
Any offer from the Patriots below that range would presumably give the Steelers and Jets the opportunity to swoop in and steal him away.
Hightower started all 13 of his regular-season appearances in 2016, recording 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two passes defensed.
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