Hightower: 'I'd like to think' Jones, Collins trades a good sign Patriots want me

Hightower: 'I'd like to think' Jones, Collins trades a good sign Patriots want me

Dont'a Hightower was one of several Patriots -- including Rob Ninkovich, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell -- who was a guest on various ESPN platforms Wednesday, and in joining the show "NFL Insiders" he explained that he's waiting to see what his future will look like as an impending free agent.

"That's up in the air right now . . . Obviously we got a lot going on with the win and everything," he said. "I'm just trying to enjoy this right now."

Has made arguably two of the three biggest plays in each of New England's last two Super Bowl victories. His strip-sack of Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI gave the Patriots life, and his tackle of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch helped open up the door for Malcolm Butler's heroics in Super Bowl XLIX. 

Hightower was named a defensive captain this season, and he made his first Pro Bowl as he helped lead the Patriots defense after it lost two starters to its front seven in Chandler Jones (traded to the Cardinals) and Jamie Collins (traded to the Browns). It seems as though Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio and the Patriots front office would like to build around Hightower given the moves they made with other free-agents-to-be, but Hightower knows nothing is guaranteed.

"I'd like to think [it's a good sign the Patriots want to keep me]," Hightower said, "but, again, guys can get put out and traded or whatever. I'm just trying to go along with the ride right now and enjoy that Super Bowl victory. I'm sure in a couple weeks all that free agency stuff will pick up, and I'll handle that whenever that comes."

Collins was given a four-year $50 million extension from the Browns this offseason. Hightower could realistically command an even more lucrative deal. Not only is he a captain and the player who relays the signals from coodinator Matt Patricia to his defensive teammates, but he has a very versatile skill set that allows him to play multiple roles in the Patriots scheme. 

He can serve as an edge-rusher, as he did when he sacked Ryan and forced the game-changing turnover, and he can play in the middle of the field as an off-the-ball linebacker. He can blitz up the A-gap or drop into coverage. He's dealt with injuries over the course of his career, missing 11 regular-season games over the last three years, but he still certainly has a case to be paid like one of the best at his position. 

Should the Patriots opt to use their franchise tag on Hightower, they would owe him somewhere in the range of $15 million guaranteed for 2017. Asked about the tag on ESPN's "NFL Live," Hightower said, "That's a lot of money."

Darrelle Revis has court date Thursday on fight claims

Darrelle Revis has court date Thursday on fight claims

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has a court date next week on criminal charges stemming from a fight after he turned himself in to police and was later released on a non-monetary bond.

Revis faces aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men last weekend in Pittsburgh. He answered no questions from the media as he turned himself in Friday. He later made an initial court appearance, and his next court date was scheduled for Thursday.

Revis' attorney has said Revis was physically assaulted by a group of at least five people. He said Revis "feared for his safety" and sought medical attention, but he didn't offer details about the severity of Revis' injuries.

Police say the fight started when a man began recording a video of Revis and Revis grabbed his phone and tried to delete it. Two men say they were punched and knocked out.

The New York Jets said through a spokesman they would have no further comment on Revis' situation other than their initial statement that they were aware of the matter and had spoken with Revis. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press that the league was looking into the matter.

Attorney Blaine Jones said Saturday in a text message that while he was hired for the pre-indictment phase of the case, he would not be representing the Jets cornerback going forward.

Revis is due $15 million next season, including a $2 million roster bonus due on the second day of the new league year, March 10.

The $13 million in base salary includes $6 million in guaranteed money, which the Jets would owe him even if they decided to cut him before the deadline.

Revis had a bitter breakup with his agents last year and has no formal representation going forward.

Revis, who is from Aliquippa, was a star at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted No. 14 overall by the Jets in 2007. He quickly established himself as one of the top players at his position - and in franchise history - while also earning the nickname, "Revis Island" for his penchant for routinely shutting down opposing teams' top receivers. He is in his second stint with the Jets.


For more NFL coverage:http://www.pro32.ap.org andhttp://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Cyrus Jones: 'I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to'

Cyrus Jones: 'I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to'

It was a tough rookie season for Cyrus Jones after being selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the the 2016 NFL Draft.

Despite struggling in the return game all season and being inactive for the playoffs, Jones will forever the labeled as a "Super Bowl Champion" after his team's victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

But you won't hear Jones bragging about the victory.

"I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to," Jones told Childs Walker of the The Baltimore Sun. "I was part of the team, but I didn't feel a part of it."

The 23-year-old rookie played in 10 games for the Patriots, seeing 147 snaps on defense. But his struggles in the return game were a talking point for most of the season after he came in with such high expectations as a returner out of Alabama. 

"Honestly, it was hell for me," he explained. "That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me."

Jones has already turned the page on his rookie season saying, there's "no such thing as an offseason" because he "didn't earn it."