FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have re-signed Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower.

Hightower’s agency, SportsTrust Advisors, tweeted the agreement Wednesday and his agent, Pat Dye Jr., confirmed it. The new contract is for four years and $43.5 million.

The deal brings back one of the Patriots’ biggest free agents, who helped New England win two Super Bowls in his five NFL seasons. He has 372 tackles and 17 sacks since being a first-round pick out of Alabama in 2012.

Hightower, 27, took free-agent visits with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, but will return to captain a defense that allowed a league-low 15.6 points per game during the regular season in 2016. He was named a captain for the first time in 2016, and finished the season with 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits.

Hightower also had one of the biggest plays in the Super Bowl in February against Atlanta. He forced a fumble on a sack on Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter, helping swing the momentum New England’s way in its 34-28 overtime victory.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Hightower has made big-time plays on the game’s biggest stage. His play on Ryan was cited by Coach Bill Belichick as a game-changing play in the team’s 25-point second-half comeback.

Then in the 2015 Super Bowl with 1:06 remaining, Hightower tackled running back Marshawn Lynch at the 1-yard line on the play before cornerback Malcolm Butler’s dramatic interception to help the Patriots beat the Seahawks.

The Patriots have closely managed Hightower’s injury situation in recent seasons; he has played a full NFL season only once in his career. Hightower played 67.9 percent of the defensive snaps in the 2016 regular season, 54.2 percent in the 2015 regular season and 76.7 percent in the 2014 regular season.