Minor surprise: New England Patriots won't franchise tag LB Dont'a Hightower (Shutdown Corner)

The New England Patriots have a lot of cap space and linebacker Dont’a Hightower is a key part of their championship defense, so giving the franchise tag to Hightower seemed to be an easy move. The Patriots are rarely predictable, and they threw a bit of a curveball into free agency by deciding to not give Hightower the franchise tag. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Hightower was informed he wouldn’t be given the tag, and he’ll test the market.
Source: Yahoo.com