The Jets have offered free agent LB Dont'a Hightower more than $12 million per year, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.
Jason La Confora reported yesterday that the Jets had offered the most money for Hightower. La Confora said that the 27-year-old was not inclined to take New York's offer.
Is Dont'a Hightower using the Jets for leverage, or is he serious about signing with them instead of the Patriots? The world may soon find out.
It appears to be down, once again, to the Jets and Patriots in the race for the Pro Bowl linebacker after Hightower left Pittsburgh on Tuesday after making a free-agent visit to the Steelers. One report indicated the Jets had the biggest offer on the table. Another report said Hightower was looking for $12 million per year.
All that could just be talk or agent spin, though, which apparently is what worried the Steelers. According to the NFL Network, the Steelers told the 27-year-old that their offer to him was only good until he left Pittsburgh. Once he did, according to the report, they planned to pull their offer.
Hightower reportedly left in early evening, leaving the Patriots and the Jets.
And the Jets certainly went all out to woo him during his visit to Florham Park, N.J., on Friday. ESPN reported that in addition to the usual dinner and meetings with staff and coaches, the Jets sent his mother a package of Jets merchandise and - since his birthday was Sunday - they had a "Happy Birthday" message written on all the TV screens inside the Jets' practice facility and made him cupcakes.
Hightower left without a deal anyway, leaving many around the league to suspect what the Steelers apparently suspect - that Hightower is destined to return to New England and is using everyone else to drive up his price.
The Jets remain interested in Hightower who could make a dangerous future inside linebacking duo with Darron Lee for the Jets. He'd also likely make 33-year-old David Harris expendable. The Jets could clear $6.5 million in salary cap space by letting Harris go.