60 tackles…5.5 sacks…4 passes defensed…just another year for Dont’a Hightower. However, that was 2019. That was a year where the New England Patriots were able to rely on others such as Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Danny Shelton. That was a year that while many may not have known it at the time, was an end of an era. That doesn’t mean that we should expect the Patriots to fall off a cliff, but one cannot deny that the future has come for the Pat’s and 2020 is the beginning of a new era.
You see, the fact that a new era awaits is what made it so hard for Patriots fans to hear those words from Hightower on Tuesday morning. The much beloved leader of the Patriots defense has determined that he will skip the 2020 season. This clearly leaves the Patriots vulnerable on defense as another key asset will not be available. In fact, one may argue that it will be Hightowers leadership that will be missed most. After-all, this is a season where the QB position and so therefore the offense is already a big question mark. While some may be sold on Newton arriving and taking over the reigns at QB, it would likely be unwise to automatically assume that he can carry leadership…in fact, one may not even want to pencil Newton into the starting gig at this point. That is why the defense was expected to be what kept the Patriots afloat in 2020. Now, Hightower has said that he will not be playing in 2020. Furthermore, another key asset in Patrick Chung has also said that he will not play this year neither.
So, where does this leave us? As a life long New England Patriots fan, I obviously would love nothing more than to stay optimistic. But how can I do that when the names that we rely on so often are continuing to disappear? While I refuse to write in bias on this website, I would really love to hear what all of you think. Is this season perhaps over before it even begins? Or, Should I just R-E-L-A-X and trust that when it is all said and done Coach Belichick will be there playing the role as the top super villain and hoist another Lombardi?
As always, please let us know what you think in the comments section below or in the poll provided above. If you enjoy the content on this page then please subscribe and stay tuned.