Patriots

Report: Hightower's injury issues diminished Jets' interest

Report: Hightower's injury issues diminished Jets' interest

There's been puzzlement as to why the market for Dont'a Hightower never seemed to develop in free agency, and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio may have an explanation.

Florio reports the Jets, one of Hightower's few suitors in the open market, became concerned about medical issues they discovered after giving Hightower a physical. New York's "zeal diminished" for Hightower, according to Florio, who cites a source that says New York "didn’t drop out [of the bidding] but [was] concerned."

The Patriots, conversely, "knew about any potential medical issues and were comfortable proceeding."

Florio reports the Jets' initial offer was for five years and $62 million, but after the physical "it became clear that the total dollars and (more importantly) the guarantees wouldn’t ultimately get to the point where Hightower would accept."

Florio did not specify when the injury issues were. Hightower was listed on various Patriots' injury reports with both shoulder and knee problems in 2016 and was  'questionable' for Super Bowl LI because of the shoulder.

 

Devin McCourty avoids fine after personal foul penalty for hit against Dolphins

Devin McCourty avoids fine after personal foul penalty for hit against Dolphins

Saturday is the day the NFL usually passes out fines for hits from the previous Sunday. Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree, for example, was hit with a $21,056 bill for his helmet-to-helmet shot to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, though he wasn't penalized on the play. 

Devin McCourty, however, can rest easy. As can his daughter London, 2, and son Brayden 1.

He wasn't fined for his hit on Dolphins receiver Allen Hurns, though he did draw a personal foul flag for lowering the head to initiate contact. 

Initially, the veteran Patriots safety wasn't happy with the call, but then said he told the officials "it was actually a pretty good call once I saw the replay."

McCourty expressed concern a fine might be coming last Sunday in his postgame press conference. "Hopefully the NFL doesn’t fine me. I don’t think it was fine-worthy. I’ve got too many kids for that,” he said with a smile.

McCourty has only drawn one fine in his career. In December 2010, he was fined $10,000 after a hit on a defenseless receiver, Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, drew an unnecessary roughness penalty.  

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Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured James Develin vs Jets

Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured James Develin vs Jets

The Patriots promoted fullback Jakob Johnson off their practice squad Saturday to replace the injured James Develin in Week 3 against the Jets. 

Develin missed all three of the Patriots' practices this week with a neck injury and was listed out on Friday. 

Johnson, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Tennessee and former German Football league player, will dress for his first game in the NFL. 

Johnson was originally recruited as a linebacker out of high school, but he made the transition to tight end while with the Volunteers. The Patriots turned him into a fullback, so the 24-year-old has shown a fair share of versatility over the course of his career. 

The Patriots usually find creative ways to utilize Develin in the passing game while sometimes giving him opportunities to punch in touchdowns on the goal line. There's a small chance Johnson gets that chance on Sunday, but who knows since the game will most likely be over by halftime. 

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