Dont'a Hightower leaves Steelers facility without a contract
March 14, 2017 4:58 PM
Gregory Payan/Associated Press
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Free agent linebacker Dont’a Hightower visited with the Steelers for eight hours Tuesday at the UMPC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side. And like the rest of the free agents who have passed through those doors this week, he also left without a contract.
Hightower is the best remaining free agent available, and the Steelers are hoping to sign him to replace Lawrence Timmons, the veteran linebacker who signed Friday with the Dolphins.
Hightower, who won two Super Bowls in his first five seasons with New England, visited the Jets Monday. The Patriots also remain interested in bringing Hightower back to their top-ranked defense.
With more than $20 million salary cap space to deal with, the Steelers haven’t signed any of the four free agents they’ve brought into their facility the past two days. Earlier Tuesday, free agent cornerback Davon House was on his visit with the Steelers when he agreed to sign a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Packers, the team that originally drafted him in 2011.
Linebacker Jay Elliott visited the Steelers Monday and signed with the Packers Monday night, and receiver Justin Hunter also visited Monday and left without a contract.
Where do the Steelers turn now?
Well, many of their front office personnel trickled out of the building Tuesday when Hightower was still on his visit to catch a plane to Madison, Wis., where they’ll attend Wisconsin’s pro day Wednesday. The Steelers will take a look at a number of players, but their attention will be focused on outside linebacker T.J. Watt, the younger brother of Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt and one of the top outside linebackers in this year’s draft.
Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1.
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