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The Patriots have not moved to re-sign linebacker Dont’a Hightower this offseason, but that’s not because head coach Bill Belichick has a low opinion of the veteran.
Hightower’s name came up during a Tuesday press conference when Belichick was asked about young linebackers like Josh Uche being used in various roles like Hightower was during his time in New England. Belichick said it is “a stretch to compare most anybody to Hightower” because he’s “one of the best linebackers that’s ever played here.”
Belichick was then asked if the team would consider bringing Hightower back for an 11th season in New England.
“We’ll just talk about the players that are on the team right now,” Belichick said, via Nick O’Malley of MassLive.com.
Hightower obviously wouldn’t need extended time to pick up the team’s defensive scheme if he did return, but the Patriots defense floundered at the end of last season and the team’s move to younger linebackers seems likely to stick as they try to find a better formula this time around.