The New York Jets aren’t the only AFC team not named the New England Patriots interested in bringing in high-profile free agent linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, after visiting with the Jets, Hightower is going to take a visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Patriots have continued to stay in touch with Hightower’s camp and would love to bring him back. He has been a key defender against the run and as a blitzer on passing downs for New England since being selected out of Alabama in Round 1 of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Pats.
This past year, Hightower logged 99 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and a safety. He also came up big with a sack of Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI.
One of the most highly coveted free agents of this year’s class, he will almost certainly land a contract that pays him over $10 million per year. The Patriots have plenty of cap space to give him this type of big-money deal but typically don’t like to set the market or spend too frivolously in free agency, even with their own players.
The Steelers have cap space to make a bold play for Hightower but also must be careful not to overspend. They lost Lawrence Timmons to the Miami Dolphins, however, so they have the need at inside linebacker and could be willing to go big for this particular impact player.