Yesterday, on his 27th birthday, reports emerged that free agent linebacker Dont'a Hightower has drawn interest by one of the New England Patriots' divisional rivals. The New York Jets were seen as one of the frontrunners to sign Hightower and he reportedly had a visit with New York scheduled for today.
However, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Hightower has already visited the Jets:
#Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower visited #Jets this weekend and he’s spent time with #Titans, as well. Both left convinced he re-signs in NE
The report that both the Jets and the Tennessee Titans, who at one point were also considered a favorite to sign Hightower, think that the Pro Bowler will return to New England can be seen as a very good sign for the Patriots. While the team has always been one of the favorites to retain its 2016 team captain, this report confirms that it is in fact the lone frontrunner and even seen as such by those trying to get Hightower themselves.
Maybe today will be the day "Hightower watch 2017" finally comes to an end. For New England, if recent reports hold true, it should be a positive one.
[UPDATE 8:23 a.m. ET] According to Jason La Canfora (via Adam Kaufman), the Pittsburgh Steelers have also expressed interest in Hightower. They too believe he will return to New England.