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Hightower plans to play next season, Michael Giardi of NFL Network reports.

Hightower will be a free agent at the start of the new league year, which is March 16. The soon-to-be 32-year-old has spent all nine of his NFL seasons thus far with the Patriots. Hightower finished last season with 64 tackles (39 solo), 1.5 sacks and a pass defensed on 610 defensive snaps.

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