After nine seasons in the NFL, all with the New England Patriots, linebacker Dont’a Hightower decided to call it a career on Tuesday when he announced his retirement.
He’s built a pretty impressive resume that includes two Pro Bowl selections, a nod to second-team All-Pro, and three Super Bowl championships.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft had a classy response to Hightower’s big career decision.
“We are honored to call @zeus30hightower a patriot and will always celebrate him as a champion.
For the full Robert Kraft quote, please click: https://t.co/DdarRRioIS
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) March 22, 2023
Hightower was taken by New England with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft just months after losing in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants for the second time in five seasons.
At that time, the Patriots hadn’t won a world championship since the 2004 season, and they needed another chunk or two to get back on top of the soccer world.
That’s exactly what they did in Hightower’s third season when they narrowly beat Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Everyone remembers Malcolm Butler’s interception late in the game when Seattle inexplicably attempted a pass as he started near the end zone instead of giving the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch, but when from the previous play, Hightower tackled Lynch at the one-yard line. to prevent a touchdown.
That year, Hightower recorded 89 total tackles (51 solo), 13 quarterback hits, nine tackles for loss and six sacks in 12 regular season games.
He earned his first Pro Bowl nomination in 2016, the year the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit against the Atlanta Falcons to win their fifth Super Bowl.
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