Patriots Sign LB Hightower

After a lengthy negotiation New England signed their final unsigned Draft pick from the class of 2012.

The Patriots signed No. 25 overall pick Dont'a Hightower to a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth year.

Hightower, 6-4, 270, can play inside or outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, the same scheme he played at Alabama under coach Nick Saban.

The Patriots traded up to draft Hightower 25th in April's NFL draft. He was one of two first-round picks by the Patriots, who also selected Syracuse junior defensive end Chandler Jones.

Hightower's deal is worth at least $7.57 million and up to $7.8 million with $6.2 million in total guaranteed money.

Hightower had 234 career tackles at Alabama and was a consensus All-American as a junior last season.

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