NFL Rumors: Patriots Not Close To Extensions With Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Malcolm Butler


The Patriots have a lot of big decisions to make in the upcoming months regarding expiring contracts, none bigger than their top three defensive players…

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the Pats are not close right now to striking extensions with Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins or Malcolm Butler.

"Things can always change quickly when it comes to contracts, but as of now, my sense is that the Patriots aren’t close to striking extensions with any of their big three defenders — linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Malcolm Butler. All three enter the final year of their contracts, with Collins and Hightower scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after the season and Butler a restricted free agent."

While there doesn’t appear to be any progress right now, I am still confident at least two of the three ultimately get signed, if not all three. In my opinion, Hightower is the most important of the three, followed closely by Collins, and then Butler.

Hightower is without a doubt the most important player on the front seven right now. His ability to stop the run, recognize what the opposing offense is doing, and lead the defense is unparalleled, as when he is out of the game you can really see the negative impact.

Obviously Collins is an absolute freak, and he probably has more long-term potential than Hightower, so he should be very close to Dont’a in terms of importance to re-sign. He can do things on a football field that someone his size just shouldn’t be able to do, even if sometimes he makes dumb mistakes because he relies too much on his insane athleticism.

Finally, we have Malcolm Butler. There were rumors in mini-camp that he was frustrated that he didn’t have a new contract, but he later said that was false. Butler had a fantastic season last year, and I only expect him to improve. He has the potential to become one of the best cover corners in the league, so I really hope New England can find a way to re-sign him as well.

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