New England Patriots beat reporter Mike Reiss shared his insight on the status of contract extensions for linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins, and cornerback Malcolm Butler.
“Things can always change quickly when it comes to contracts,” Reiss writes in his Sunday notes, “but as of now, my sense is that the Patriots aren’t close to striking extensions with any of their big three defenders -- linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower and cornerback Malcolm Butler. All three enter the final year of their contracts, with Collins and Hightower scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after the season and Butler a restricted free agent.”
The Patriots would love to come to terms with all three as soon as possible because they will receive top market offers in free agency next March. It’s important to note that the Patriots typically sign these key players to extensions in September or October, so there’s plenty of time for negotiations.
Reiss believes that Butler “could be more motivated to strike an early extension” than his counterparts because he’s a restricted free agent, and also notes that doesn’t think “negotiations with Collins and Hightower...have progressed very far.”
Check out the rest of Reiss’ notes here.