NFL Rumors: Latest News on Dont'a Hightower, Dontari Poe and Top Free Agents

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 11, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is sacked by Dont'a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots during the fourth Quarter of Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 2017 NFL free-agency period has been one of the most action-packed in the league's history, with news coming fast and furious on Twitter and teams making some eye-popping moves.

Most of the big-name free agents have found homes for 2017, but some are still reviewing their options. Here's a look at the top three per Pro Football Focus:

Inside Linebacker Dont'a Hightower

The race for Hightower looks like it's down to the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora offered the latest on the former University of Alabama linebacker:

Terry McCormick of Titans Insider also said Tennessee could be in the mix:

Hightower, who played five seasons for New England and won two Super Bowls, started 64 games for the Patriots and is coming off being named to the 2016 Pro Football Focus and Associated Press All-NFL Second Teams, per Pro Football Reference.

The Titans need him more, as they finished a mediocre 20th in yards allowed per game last season, according to However, the Pats have the money to keep Hightower, and its multitude of savvy moves this offseason have only made the defending Super Bowl champion even stronger:

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Given New England's cap space, plus the fact that the Pats don't look like they will stop competing for Super Bowls any time soon, expect Hightower to stay in New England and sign a long-term deal.

Prediction: New England

Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe

The durable Dontari Poe, who missed only two games over five seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, is a valuable run-stuffer who can rush for the occasional one-yard touchdown (or even pass for a TD on a trick play).

Not surprisingly, La Canfora revealed that Poe is a hot commodity this offseason:

The Colts seem like the best fit for Poe, simply because they desperately need to shore up their defensive line. Indianapolis allowed 4.7 yards per carry last season, which ranked third-worst in the NFL. However, Football Outsiders had an even more pessimistic view of the Colts run defense, ranking them dead-last.

Per, the Colts have the fifth-most cap space in the NFL. Expect them to use a good chunk of that to sign Poe and help that defensive line plug some gaps.

Prediction: Indianapolis

Offensive Guard T.J. Lang

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, three teams look to be in the lead for Lang's services:

Jordan Schultz of The Huffington Post reported that Seattle is working to get a deal done with Lang:

Lang, who has only missed eight regular-season games in eight seasons, figures to be the best fit on Seattle, which was 26th in the league in adjusted line yards and 25th in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. In other words, the team couldn't run or pass block well last year.

Expect Seattle to break the bank for Lang, a 2016 Pro Bowler, in an effort to shore up that leaky offensive line.

Prediction: Seattle