PatsFans.com Menu
PatsFans.com - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans
Search

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog

Dont’a Hightower Opts Out for the 2020 NFL Season

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
3 years ago at 8:20 am ET

Dont’a Hightower Opts Out for the 2020 NFL SeasonGreg M. Cooper - USA TODAY Sports

Ouch…the Patriots got even worse news for the 2020 NFL season when they learned that LB Dont’a Hightower, one of the most important members of the Patriots defense has decided to opt-out of the upcoming season. He joins FB Danny Vitale, OL Marcus Cannon, and OL Najee Toran who opted out yesterday. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report this latest development as the league and players are struggling to find the safest way to protect the players and their families. Hightower’s wife gave birth to their first child on July 16. 

With the departures, this spring of Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins at the linebacker position, the Patriots in 2020 were in the position of relying on the veteran presence of Hightower even more. This is a big blow for the defense as Hightower normally calls all of the defensive signals in the huddle. 

Bill Belichick has referred to Hightower as “Mr. February” alluding to the linebacker’s penchant for making huge plays at key points in big games, frequently in the Super Bowl. 

Hightower is one of the most important Patriots defenders. (SBalestrieri photo)

Hightower was in the final year of his contract that was to pay him $8 million this season. 

Among the others who opted out was FB Danny Vitale who was supposed to soften the blow of the retirement of James Develin this spring. Vitale is a smaller but more athletic player who had intriguing possibilities in the Patriots offense.

Marcus Cannon, the Patriots starting right tackle also opted out. We heard back in January that he wasn’t returning, possibly opting for retirement as he moved his family back to Texas in the offseason, but perhaps the lure of his big contract made him pause. But he too decided to opt-out of the season. That leaves a big hole in the offensive line where the team has question marks as to who replaces him. They may shop for a veteran now. 

Toran was expected to compete for a backup role on the inside of the offensive line. 


Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Training Camp

  • Subscribe For Patriots Content Delivered by 6:30am Each Day


  • guest

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    0 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

  • More News Headlines:

    Patriots News 01—29, Shrine Bowl, Disorder In Patriots Place? 

    Patriots News 01—29, Shrine Bowl, Disorder In Patriots Place? 

    By: Steve Balestrieri
    “A lot of guys were getting worried because when we were in the middle of camp, we were wondering what the plan was for our…
    13 hours ago
    MORSE: Who to watch at the East-West Shrine practices and game

    MORSE: Who to watch at the East-West Shrine practices and game

    By: Mark Morse
    Practices for the East-West Shrine games are getting started. Here are prospects that you should look for during the week leading up to the game…
    1 day ago
    PHOTOS: Julian Edelman Remembers The 2018 AFC Championship

    PHOTOS: Julian Edelman Remembers The 2018 AFC Championship

    By: Robert Alvarez
    Julian Edelman shares photos from the 2018 AFC Championship game in a 'throwback Thursday" post on Instagram.
    2 days ago
    Julian Edelman Addresses NFL Future, Bill O’Brien Hiring On “Pardon My Take” Podcast

    Julian Edelman Addresses NFL Future, Bill O’Brien Hiring On “Pardon My Take” Podcast

    By: Robert Alvarez
    Julian Edelman appears on the Barstool Sports "Pardon My Take" podcast, reacts to Bill O'Brien's hiring, and more.
    2 days ago
    WATCH: Bill O’Brien’s First Interview Since Rejoining Patriots

    WATCH: Bill O’Brien’s First Interview Since Rejoining Patriots

    By: Robert Alvarez
    Bill O'Brien shares his first comments and reaction in his first interview since becoming the Patriots' new offensive coordinator.
    2 days ago

  • Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")