Tim Hightower visits New England Patriots

Free agent running back Tim Hightower visited the New England Patriots Saturday, but the Washington Redskins still remain in play to re-sign the four-year veteran, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The Redskins acquired Hightower from the Arizona Cardinals last season in exchange for a sixth-round pick and defensive end Vonnie Holliday.

Hightower, who played at Episcopal High School in Alexandria and the University of Richmond, opened the season as Washington’s starting running back, but tore his ACL in the fifth game of the season. In that game – against the Carolina Panthers – Hightower was on his way to his best outing; he had rushed for 88 yards on 17 carries through just more than two quarters.

His season ended with 321 yards and a touchdown on 84 carries. He also had a receiving touchdown.

Hightower, who turns 26 next month, had surgery and was ahead of schedule in his recovery.

He maintained that he wanted to return to the Redskins, and Washington coach Mike Shanahan – who valued Hightower’s leadership skills and blocking ability in addition to his running skills -- said at the owners meetings in March that the team still hoped to re-sign the back.

The Redskins drafted running backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively, of last year’s draft and also have second-year pro Tristan Davis on the roster.

More on the Redskins:

Tim Hightower’s unusual journey

Polian: RGIII a new kind of threat

Niles Paul switching to tight end

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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