New England Patriots star linebacker Dont’a Hightower officially announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Hightower won three Super Bowl championships over his nine-year career. He was selected to two Pro Bowls. Hightower also won two national championships in college at Alabama.
“I can’t think of a better story than the one I wrote in New England,” Hightower said in an essay posted on The Players’ Tribune website. “So this is a happy day for me … Today, I’m totally at peace knowing that I gave this franchise every ounce of sweat I had left.”
The 33 year-old Hightower had a knack for making clutch plays in Super Bowls. He was one of the hardest-hitting linebackers in the NFL during his career.
Hightower played in 117 regular-season games and totaled 569 tackles and 27 sacks. He appeared in 17 playoff games, starting all of them, amassing 81 tackles and three sacks.
Hightower opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hightower returned in 2021, playing in 15 games, and sat out the 2022 season.
The star linebacker walks away as one of the Patriots all-time greats.
Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower. Photo courtsey of AL.com