New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower will be hitting the free agent market after the team failed to put the franchise tag on him before the NFL deadline.

Hightower had 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a safety for the Super Bowl Champion Patriots during the 2016 season.  There was some debate according to team reports that New England might place the franchise tag on the linebacker.

New England is still reportedly in the mix to sign Hightower to a contract, but he is likely to court offers from other teams before signing a deal.  He was drafted 25th overall in the 2012 draft by New England.