The Patriots continue to make un-Patriotlike offseason headlines.
Not a week after inking high-priced free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal, and reportedly deciding to trade Malcolm Butler for 23-year-old wide receiving stud Brandin Cooks (with the Saints, negotiations are ongoing), the Patriots made another huge move.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Pats and linebacking star Dont'a Hightower struck a deal for four years and $43.5 million, with $19 million gauranteed.
The signing brings back one of the key pieces of New England's Super-Bowl winning defense.
Hightower, 27, had 65 tackles and 2.5 regular season sacks last year prior to impressing in a starring role during the Pats' playoff run. He also reportedly turned down offers as high as $12 million per season from the Jets, and an offer from the Steelers.