The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV. Or did thePittsburgh Steelers lose it? "It's disrespectful to say they didn'tbeat us," said Steelers safety Ryan Clark. "Of course, there's somethings we feel like we could've done better, but it would be totallydisrespectful. So they won the game. The Green Bay Packers playedbetter than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Period. Point blank." And AaronRodgers played better than Ben Roethlisberger; Clay Matthews playedbetter than Troy Polamalu and Mike McCarthy coached better than MikeTomlin. But even with all that, the Steelers still had the ball with achance to win with 1:59 left. So, all hail Green Bay? I guess. On tothe 5 from SB45.
Dont'a Hightower left money on the table in New York and in Pittsburgh, and instead took a smaller deal to return the New England Patriots, according to CBSSports' Jason La Canfora.
The Jets' offer was previously reported to be $12 million per year, including incentives. La Canfora reiterated that report. But he also detailed Pittsburgh's offer, as the Steelers also outbid the Patriots with over $9 million per year.
Instead, Hightower settled for $8.7 million per season with New England, and will play under Bill Belichick in a Patriots jersey for the sixth season in 2017.
Hightower traveled a great deal during free agency, and ended up garnering interest from the Steelers, Jets, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.
The 27-year-old linebacker finished the 2016 season with 65 tackles tackles, 2.5 sacks, two pass deflections and one forced fumble. He also had a game-changing strip sack on Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI that shifted the momentum of game.
The Patriots were represented all over the country on Thursday at various pro days in order to scout potential draftees. They had a scout at Stanford. Bill Belichick was seen at Ohio State. And defensive coordinator Matt Patricia traveled to South Bend in order to get a closer look at some of Notre Dame's best players.
The biggest name working out was quarterback DeShone Kizer -- who threw passes to former Patriots running back Jonas Gray -- but Patricia was probably spending the majority of his energy getting a grip on what the defensive players present could do.
He was seen spending a few extra minutes off to the side with linebacker James Onwualu, who served as a captain last season for the Fighting Irish.
Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia chatting with Notre Dame LB James Onwualu after pro day workouts finished. pic.twitter.com/G3Hfxtt73D— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) March 23, 2017
Onwualu checks in at 6-foot-1, 232 pounds and projects as someone who could contribute immediately on special teams as a pro. A former receiver, he has good quickness and experts say he has an unrelenting motor, but his size makes it difficult to envision him as an NFL starter. He made 76 tackles last season, including 11.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks.
Here are a couple of the other Notre Dame defensive prospects Patricia may have had his eyes on . . .
Jarron Jones, defensive tackle: Jones has great size (6-6, 316 pounds, 35.5-inch arms, 10.5 inch hands) and athleticism, but Lance Zierlein of NFL.com spoke to one NFC scouting director who called him a "character flag." Will he be motivated enough to capitalize on his physical gifts as a pro?
Isaac Rochell, defensive tackle: A team captain along with Onwualu last season, the 6-4, 280-pounder was close to an every-down player each of the last three years. Zierlein compares Rochell to newly-acquired Patriots defensive lineman Lawrence Guy since he's a little bit of a 'tweener but a high-energy guy who may have the ability to play multiple positions up front. Could be worthy of late-round consideration for the Patriots.