Why the Redskins should try to trade for Dont’a Hightower
Why the Redskins should acquire Dont’a Hightower
Acquiring Hightower would be an enormous boost to a defense that desperately needs it. His addition would impact this defense almost as much as the addition of Chase Young.
You get a true quarterback of the defense in Qualin Dont’a Hightower. The three-time Super Bowl Champ is not only an impactful presence on the field, but he’s also a winner, a leader, and a multiple time team captain in New England. That would surely translate in D.C.
The play on the field is undeniably Pro-Bowl level. In Hightower’s 2019 season, he made the Pro Bowl after playing in 15 games, having 71 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and four passes defended. He has played in 30 of a possible 32 games over the past couple of seasons, and his play on the field has remained steady, stable, and effective.
Over the past two seasons, he’s only missed a combined seven tackles, he’s shown glimpses of top-tier coverage skills as a linebacker, allowing a passer rating of 87.3 in coverage back in 2018.
The significance of all this is that if the Redskins acquired Hightower, they wouldn’t be getting a veteran linebacker looking for a chance in the NFL to re-light a fire. You would receive a Pro-Bowl level linebacker, one that will bring you consistency, playmaking ability, and leadership. And that’s something that Ron Rivera has held highest above all when discussing this Redskins team.
While he is entering the final year of his deal, his level of play and consistency hasn’t faltered a bit over the past couple of seasons. Hightower is still a top tier linebacker and can be for the next couple of seasons should he stay healthy.
The Redskins can surely afford a new deal with Hightower in the 2021 off-season should he continue his high level of play. The Redskins will likely part ways with QB Alex Smith — they’ll save nearly 14 million in cap space with the release — bringing their Top 51 cap space well over $103 million.
A contract with Hightower likely won’t be one that breaks the bank, as a short term deal will likely be the outcome. A new deal will contain a high base salary coupled with incentives that’ll benefit not only the player, but the team should he hit them.
Ron Rivera, a former linebacker himself, would love the acquisition of Hightower. He’s dealt with exceptional linebackers his entire coaching career. Guys like Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Luke Kuechly. Why not add a Pro-Bowler to the roster? Especially if he’s one that Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio will surely get the most out of just as they’ve done with every other linebacker that’s been in their system.