The New England Patriots have already had themselves a pretty good month with the recent acquisition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Fans of the team are rightly already saying there's a good chance the team is gearing up for yet another Super Bowl run. While the offense might be nigh unbeatable in New England, there is still going to be a need for some defense.

The New England Patriots have at least one free agent defensive player who has been testing the waters.

After indeed dipping his toe into the surf, it appears Dont'a Hightower might decide a return to the champs is his best bet. On the flip side, defensive back Malcolm Butler appears ready to jump ship as soon as he can.

The New England Patriots draw for Dont'a Hightower

Dont'a Hightower has reportedly talked to the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans at the very least. It appears, according to NESN, that he might have met with other teams as well.

What appears to be the end result of those discussions is that Hightower really wants to return to the Patriots.

One report indicates he will be going back to New England and that the contract he will sign would be close to $10 million per year. That same report, by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, said the ties to the World Champs run pretty deep for Hightower.

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New England Patriots

Malcolm Butler wants to get away from the New England Patriots

While the Dont'a Hightower news should get Pats fans quite excited, there is apparently bad blood forming between the team and defensive back Malcolm Butler. One report, by Michael Girardi of CSNNE says Butler is "very frustrated" by the Pats' position in contract talks between the two parties.

Butler is a restricted free-agent and the team tendered him at the highest level, offering $3.91 million. The defensive back apparently feels as though he's worth more than that, but also understands any other teams are going to both pay more, and give the Pats their first round pick.

To some degree, Butler undercut his own ability to leave the New England Patriots last week. There was talk the team was going to include him in the Brandin Cooks trade but because Butler had not signed the tender, they couldn't trade him.

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