According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Alabama and current New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower has chosen to opt out of the 2020 football season. Hightower had a baby on July 16th, likely factoring into his decision.

Hightower becomes the most recent NFL player to choose to opt out of the upcoming season. He is the second former Crimson Tide player making the chose to opt out, following Chance Warmack of the Seattle Seahawks.

Five New England Patriots have made the choice to forgo the 2020 season, running back Brandon Bolden, tackle Marcus Cannon, fullback Danny Vitale, guard Najee Toran as well as Hightower.

Should Hightower be deemed at high-risk for COVID-19 he will receive $350,000 per the agreement by the NFL and NFLPA. If he is deemed no-risk he will receive $150,000 per the same agreement.

Hightower was entering the final year of a contract he signed in 2017, his contract will toll over to 2021 where he is scheduled to earn $8 million.

The former first-round draft pick in 2012 has spent his entire career with the Patriots and has earned $43.1 million over the course of his eight-year career.

Hightower is a three-time Super Bowl Champion and a two-time BCS National Champion. He was named as a member of the Patriots All-Decade team for the 2010s. Hightower has notched 505 tackles, 25.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and one interception with two defensive touchdowns.

Per the agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players have up to seven days to decide to opt out of the upcoming season from the date the agreement was signed. The two sides came to an agreement late last week but reportedly met yesterday to officially sign the agreement.

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