The deal is reported to be worth $43.5m with $19m guaranteed. He earned $7.751 million in 2016, as the Patriots had picked up the fifth-year option of the five-year contract he had signed as a rookie. Free agents or draft picks can replace the remaining Patriots free agents if they fail to sign.
In Super Bowl 51, Hightower's fourth quarter strip sack of Patriots of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan helped spark the Patriots to a 25 point second half comeback.
Still, the idea of leaving the Patriots for the Jets - who gifted him cupcakes while meeting with him on his birthday over the weekend - was tough to swallow, even if the Jets offered more money as the metaphorical frosting on top.
Thomas is in lineup after missing 2 games with knee injury
They tangled at halfcourt with Jennings being shoved to the floor. "I don't understand how I got a foul call for that". Watch the Live Streaming game of Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics home game on CSN HD and listen to 100.7 WZLX.
There were conflicted reports that the Jets offered Hightower $12M, but the more recent reports from NY refuted that.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower decided on Wednesday to stay with the New England Patriots rather than leave the defending Super Bowl champions in free agency this National Football League offseason. They've more than recouped their losses in free agency, with the additions of Dwayne Allen, Kony Ealy, Lawrence Guy, Stephon Gilmore and now Hightower on the defensive side and adding the talented Brandin Cooks and Rex Burkhead on offense.
His return solidifies New England's defense as arguably one of the best in the NFL.
It is believed that he is seeking a contract that would pay in excess of $10 million per season. General manager Thomas Dimitroff says the 6-foot-1 Wreh-Wilson made a good impression with his size and "the way he competes".