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Dont’a Hightower on Jets’ free-agent radar, source says

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017, file

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots Dont'a Hightower folllows the action during NFL football's Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons in Houston. The draft remains the most significant means by which to build and fortify a franchise. Yet, as the salary cap increases exponentially each year under the 10-year labor agreement reached in 2011, the lure of veterans on the open market can be powerful. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File) Photo Credit: AP / Gregory Payan

According to a source, the Jets have zeroed in on Patriots free-agent linebacker Dont’a Hightower. The only problem is, so has Bill Belichick.

The Patriots reportedly want to re-sign the two-time Super Bowl champion, who made the Pro Bowl for the first time last year. But Hightower was in New Jersey on Sunday on a visit with the Jets that was expected to continue on Monday.

The question is: Will the Jets let one of the premier remaining free agents leave the building without a contract?

According to reports, Hightower has garnered interest from several other teams. The feeling around the league is that he’ll return to New England.

Hightower, who turned 27 on Sunday, was a first-round pick of New England in 2012. Last season, he was named a team captain and finished with 65 tackles, 2 1⁄2 sacks and two passes defensed. He has totaled 17 sacks in his five years in New England.

The Jets’ interest in Hightower raises questions about 33-year-old David Harris’ future with the team. The inside linebacker is the longest-tenured Jet.

In 2015, Harris signed a three-year, $21.5-million deal that included $15 million guaranteed. He’s due to earn a base salary of $6.5 million in 2017, but the Jets would save that amount if they release him.

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