Patriots' Dont'a Hightower reportedly opting out of 2020

New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower is opting out of the 2020 season, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

What It Means:

Hightower had a baby on July 16 and his mother also has Type 2 diabetes. The 30-year-old was scheduled to earn a base salary of $8 million in the final year of his contract, which will roll over to 2021. Hightower's decision leaves the Patriots without four of their top five linebackers from last season. Per Pro Football Focus, the three-time Super Bowl champ led all off-ball linebackers in total pressures over the past three seasons with 80. He joins running back Brandon Bolden, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, fullback Danny Vitale, and center/guard Najee Toran as Patriots who have opted out of playing in 2020.

The Patriots D/ST is currently 5th in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings.