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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Joseph Salvador

Dont’a Hightower Announces Retirement at 33 Years Old

Longtime Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower announced his retirement Monday at 33 years old with a heartfelt letter. 

“Today, I am officially retiring from the NFL,” he wrote in The Players Tribune. “I know these announcements always feel bittersweet, but I can’t think of a better story than the one I wrote in New England. A decade, three Super Bowls, two Pro Bowls, and the birth of my son — all playing for one franchise. How many guys have a story like that?

“So this is a happy day for me, and I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate you embracing a Southern kid from Lewisburg, Tennessee.”

Hightower was drafted with the No. 25 pick in the 2012 NFL draft out of Alabama and went on to have an incredible career as a cornerstone of the New England dynasty. He leaves the sport with three rings, one All-Pro selection and 569 tackles in 117 games. 

“I just want to say thank you for helping me live my dream,” he continued. “To you, to my beautiful wife, Morgan, to all my coaches, my teammates, my mentors, my teachers, my friends, my entire family, and to all the fans at Bama and New England....Thank you. Just thank you. I wouldn’t rewrite a single chapter of this story.”

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