"That's up in the air right now," he said, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "Just going along with the ride and enjoying this."
Hightower added: "I'm sure in a couple weeks all that free agency stuff will pick up. I'll handle that whenever that comes."
There was once a time where questions arose in regards to the Patriots being able to keep Hightower, Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones given that all three of them were set to become free agents after this season. Collins and Jones were traded to Cleveland and Arizona respectively, so Hightower believes that being the last one standing of those three means the Patriots highly value him.
"I'd like to think [it's a good sign the Patriots want to keep me]," Hightower said.
The Patriots could use the franchise tag on Hightower, which is close to $15 million. Rumors are he's looking for roughly $10 million per year if not more, so $15 million would probably make him happy.
Because of Hightower's injury risk, the Patriots may be reluctant to give him a big contract. But despite that, I still think they should go above and beyond to get him back.