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Former Patriot Hightower retires

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Former New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower announced his retirement Tuesday via the Players' Tribune.

Hightower spent the entirety of his career with the Patriots after being selected 25th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama. In 2022, he went unsigned and didn't play.

The 33-year-old linebacker was a key piece of New England's defensive success for nine seasons. He made two Pro Bowls and won three Super Bowls as a leader and key contributor for Bill Belichick's defense.

Hightower finishes his career with 569 combined tackles, 27 sacks, 43 tackles for loss, one interception, and two touchdowns. His tackle mark ranks sixth in franchise history.

One of the biggest plays of Hightower's career came in Super Bowl LI when he strip-sacked Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the Patriots' infamous 28-3 comeback.

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