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Hightower announced Tuesday via his personal Twitter account that he has retired from professional football.

Hightower is officially retiring after nine seasons in the NFL, all of which he spent with New England. The two-time Pro Bowler earned three Super Bowl rings during his time with the Patriots, a span in which he solidified himself as one of the team's most important defensive players. He will perhaps be best remembered for his tackle of Marshawn Lynch at the one-yard line with seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX, which set up teammate Malcolm Butler's famous goal-line interception of Russell Wilson.

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