Was Dont'a Hightower's health a concern for the Jets? Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It appeared that the New York Jets were making a strong play for Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower. The team was said to have offered the New England Patriots defender a five-year, $55 million contract that could have reached a total value of $62.5 million.

This seemed like it could have been enough to steal Hightower away from the defending champs. Ultimately, he decided to return to New England on a four-year, $43.5 million contract with $19 million guaranteed (more on that here).

This was a sign that Hightower had given his Patriots a home-town discount, right?

Not so fast. According to MMQB’s Albert Breer, the Jets actually pulled their initial contract offer to Hightower after he conducted a physical.

There were surely concerns with Hightower’s health, which has come into question in recent years. In fact, the former first-round pick has missed 27 percent of New England’s games over the past three seasons and has not played in a full 16-game slate since 2013.

One has to wonder if this is why he received a relatively small $19 million guaranteed from the Patriots. It also speaks to the somewhat cold market the Pro Bowler found in free agency.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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