Free agent linebacker Dont'a Hightower is among the biggest names left unsigned during this year's free agency period. But despite not yet having a team, the 27-year old has had a busy few days. After visiting both the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers over the next few days, he has another visit on his schedule.
According to Adam Schefter, Hightower will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers next:
After visiting the NY Jets, Patriots free-agent LB Dont'a Hightower is scheduled to visit the Steelers, per source.
Dont'a Hightower is scheduled to fly to Pittsburgh tonight. But storm also expected to hit New Jersey. So Mother Nature now figures into FA.
The Steelers were previously not reportedly in contention for Hightower. After losing Lawrence Timmons to the Miami Dolphins, though, the team has a void to fill at the linebacker position and the Pro Bowler might be a candidate to do just that. Per overthecap.com, Pittsburgh has around $20.0 million salary cap space available, which is around $14 million less than what the Patriots have, but still enough to potentially sign Hightower to a lucrative contract.
However, according to Steelers beat writer Jeremy Fowler, this does not appear to be the way the team handles its business:
Going $10M plus per year on Hightower seems out of Steelers' comfort, but they were willing to compete for Dre Kirkpatrick, who got $10M
If recent reports were to be believed the Patriots are still considered the favorite to retain their 2016 team captain. Visiting Pittsburgh might, however, push Hightower's price tag — which is believed to be around $10.0 million per year — up a notch.
Also, it would appear that the Titans are out of the running per MMQB’s Albert Breer:
Titans are out of it, for now. Up to Hightower to see if he can beat Pats' price. https://t.co/B6MscJl1KX— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 13, 2017
Hightower is just looking for anyone that can boost his contract offer from the Patriots.