Patriots Notes: Hightower, Ninkovich, Gronk, QBs

Dont’a Hightower is set to be a free agent following the season, and’s Mike Reiss has noticed a notable change in the linebacker’s “approach with the media.” This sentiment was confirmed in an interview with WEEI, where he made it clear that the contract situation wouldn’t be a distraction.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m here for the year,” Hightower said (via Reiss). “I’m not worried about it. Anything that is going to be done with that will be dealt with [agent] Pat Dye. Until then, I will just control what I can control in between these white lines.”

When asked how he deals with the distraction, Hightower said he tries to “avoid the media as much as possible; that’s the No. 1 thing.”

As the linebacker seeks a lucrative extension, let’s take a look at some other notes out of New England…

  • Agent Drew Rosenhaus attended the Patriots preseason opener, only 11 days after having attended the team’s training camp. Reiss wonders is his presence was in regard to clients Rob Gronkowski and Jabaal Sheard, who could both be in line for lucrative contract extensions.
  • Reiss notes that the Patriots dealt linebacker Jonathan Bostic to the Lions earlier this offseason in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick. Bostic suffered a serious leg injury this week, and if the linebacker ends up missing the season, the Patriots presumably won’t end up receiving the pick.
  • Coach Bill Belichick isn’t anticipating the addition of a veteran quarterback, writes Mike Florio of“We’ve talked about it but we’re where we’re at,” Belichick said. “We are where we’re at right now.” With Tom Brady set to miss the first four games of the season, the Patriots will be rolling forward with a pair of quarterbacks: fill-in starter Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett.
  • After having torn his tricep earlier this week, defensive end Rob Ninkovich was back at practice today, tweets Ben Volin of The Boston Globe.
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