Packers cut A.J. Hawk

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A.J. Hawk has been let go by the Packers.

The team announced today that Hawk, who has spent his entire career in Green Bay, will not return. Hawk released a statement thanking the team for his time in Green Bay.

I spent nine great years in Green Bay. I had awesome teammates and coaches and a great medical staff and equipment staff. Many of them have become my closest friends. We won a ton of games, as well as a Super Bowl, and I loved everything about playing for one of the greatest franchises in all of sports,” Hawk said. “The fans in Green Bay are incredible. Between playing at Lambeau Field as well as seeing them on the road, they always supported us. I am looking forward to my next opportunity in the NFL, but I’ll always cherish my years as a Green Bay Packer.”

Packers General Manager Ted Thompson likewise thanked Hawk for his service to the team.

“A.J. is a consummate Packer and we are grateful for all that he has given and how he represented the organization over the past nine seasons,” Thompson said. “He was a durable and consistent contributor to our success, but more importantly, he is a great person and teammate. The Packers are grateful for all that he has done on the field and in the community. We wish A.J., his wife Laura, and the rest of their family all the best.”

Hawk, who is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle, now becomes a free agent.

141 responses to “Packers cut A.J. Hawk

  1. Never lived up to the potential he showed at Ohio State, but he was a really solid player and overall seems like a nice guy. Loved when he (in a fun way) leveled that fan on the golf course that kept asking him to do it.

  2. I wonder if Rick speilman has already contacted hawks agent …. I mean I’m surprised we haven’t signed brad Jones already. .. but on a serious note does that mean clay will play more inside?

  3. A little off topic. Maybe Clay Matthews will finally become a man and cut his hair. Dude looks like an ugly chick. When he fluffs it before he puts his helmet on is the girliest thing I’ve ever seen.

  4. It seems similar to the Patriots cutting Logan Mankins – better a year too early than a year too late, and allows them to rebuid with new blood at inside linebacker.

  5. Viking troll team assemble? Have you ever seen that cognitively delayed Ariani? You can have a post about the Ravens beating the Pats and that clown shoe makes it into an Aaron Rodgers event. In fact most of those 85’s that consider themselves Vike fans…..cant help but go red whenever there is a Pack thread.

  6. First Slocum, then Bostick (LOL Vikings), then Brad Jones, then AJ Hawk.

    I believe this is what they call “addition by subtraction.”

    Hawk was never as bad as the purple trolls would have you believe, but he was never all that good either. And he looked slower than a nose tackle out there last year, trying to cover RBs and TEs. So the timing is definitely right to finally cut him loose.

  7. GB would have been to a 2nd Super Bowl if Hawk had defended the Seattle tackle on the fake field goal TD instead of going after the holder — who would clearly have been tackled before running to a first down.

  8. He was a disappointment generally, but I don’t see how you could call a player who started for years and led the team in tackles several times “a bust.”
    Anyway, he’s well off financially, has a Super Bowl ring, the team paid for his latest surgery, and he’s got a wife hotter than he really deserves, so there’s no reason to cry for him.
    Thanks for your service AJ, and best wishes for the rest of your life.

  9. The Bears need ILBs to play in their new 3-4 defense.

    The Bears need help figuring out how to beat Green Bay.

    Just sayin.

  10. His little known feud with the equipment manager is finally over. 1,118 tackles is the franchise record! but so to is the little known record for 912 lost helmets during a game. Go Pack Go!

  11. I swear if that top-ten pick Clydesdale signs with the Vikings, I’m gonna strongly consider rooting for the Lions.

  12. This guy was anything but a bust. He did not become the game-changer we all hoped he would be, but he was a solid performer and a great defensive play-caller. Rarely hurt. Rarely missed playing time.

    This guy knew his limitations and agreed to a re-structured contract several years ago. Many players could learn from his humility. He played his heart out. I will never disparage this guy, and I plan to welcome him at Lambeau sometime in the future when ex-players show up to be acknowledged.

    Hats off to you Mr. Hawk. May you live long and prosper.

    \\//_

  13. Was he the coverage guy on the Seattle fake field goal? That play where he ran up to stop a specialist from running instead of playing safety as designed. Plays such as that one that GB failed to make, and the coaches failed to prepare the players to expect will always cost a good player his job.

  14. just another first round bust from Green Bay. they always brag about finding gems deep in the draft, but that’s only because so many of their top picks flop so often.

  15. Thanks for the years Hawk! I think it’s in best interest for both sides to part ways right now… But I have a lot of respect for Hawk and wish him a great rest of his career.

  16. I like Hawk, but seriously, this is the guy that Green Bay fans were saying before the season was the best LB in the division, next, of course, to Clay Matthews. I remember telling people that on other teams in the division, let alone the entire NFC, he wouldn’t even be a starter and people freaked out. Just like I said BJ Raji (and I won’t tell you how easy making fun of his name is) wasn’t anything special and everybody initially freaked.

    Funny, the moment a Packer gets cut he “wasn’t that great anyways” but while he’s on the team he’s “the best in the business”. Just strange how that always works.

  17. Hawk is a solid player, and no one works out harder. Wherever he ends up he’ll be a good example to follow.

  18. My rents bought me a Hawk jersey his rookie season so my opinion may be a little biased, but, he had multiple seasons racking up 100+ tackles. He also had a crazy, one-handed pick against the Cowboys two seasons back which helped lead the Packers to victory when Rodgers was out. Never the flashiest guy, but he stepped up when it mattered.

  19. A sad day among Pack fans—-we sort of knew this was going to happen, but still sad knowing AJ has been a solid performer on and off the field for the Pack.

    He has been a steady-solid performer over the years. Did he live up to be the fifth pack in the draft—-it is debatable, but he been a great clubhouse guy and also a decent if not spectacular player

    AJ has been a solid cog of Packer nation for years, and we will miss him. Hats off to AJ and his family—–thank you.

  20. simplesimon1 says:
    Feb 25, 2015 5:01 PM
    I like Hawk, but seriously, this is the guy that Green Bay fans were saying before the season was the best LB in the division, next, of course, to Clay Matthews.
    ////////////////////////////////////

    No Packer fan ever made this claim. Nobody. Ever. Not on this site. You’re just another in a long line of trolls that throws stones in calm ponds, because you can…anonymously.

  21. wisbadgfan says: Feb 25, 2015 5:05 PM

    Did he live up to be the fifth pack in the draft—-it is debatable
    ————————————————————-
    Actually, it is not even remotely debatable.

  22. And you know where he is headed next.

    Come on Spielman, there’s another one out there…

    For all the brilliant Packer fans out there. The Vikings play a 4-3 defense, why would they want Hawk and Jones. Two terrible 3-4 ILB?

  23. I like Hawk, but seriously, this is the guy that Green Bay fans were saying before the season was the best LB in the division, next, of course, to Clay Matthews. I remember telling people that on other teams in the division, let alone the entire NFC, he wouldn’t even be a starter and people freaked out. Just like I said BJ Raji (and I won’t tell you how easy making fun of his name is) wasn’t anything special and everybody initially freaked.

    Funny, the moment a Packer gets cut he “wasn’t that great anyways” but while he’s on the team he’s “the best in the business”. Just strange how that always works.

    ____________________________________

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Raji comes back strong. He’s on a make or break contract year still which would inspire any player to ball out. You also have to remember the year GB won the Super Bowl when he was at nose tackle (NT), not defensive end (DE). Raji is 350 lbs. He’s to big and slow to play DE, which he had to years being champions due to lack of talent at the d-line position. GB plans to return him back to his original position of NT. Raji is a tough SOB, and he can fill holes. I expect way more potential out of him on a very cheap contract this year, as long as he can stay healthy.

  24. It’s hard to call Hawk a bust because he did start for nine years, although many of those defenses were among the worst in history. I can say this: Hawk was one of the best first-round picks Ted Thompson ever made. But what do you expect when you get to pick fifth overall?

  25. Good Bye A.J., you were always a complete pro on and off the field.
    Titletown was lucky to have you.

    Generally the victim of your lofty draft position.
    Expectations were always high, by all of us
    Solid, skilled, always played with heart.

    Unfortunately you could never follow a big game with any consistency. Flash was never your forte.

    Hoping bright things are in your future and not the mediocre, dull thud of purple.

    At least you had the opportunity to play with an historic NFL franchise.
    You will always be family in Green Bay.
    Also you can relish in the memories of a Super Bowl win and a flashy Championship ring that goes along with it.

    Many players, as well as long languishing teams, may never be able to say that.
    But, you will.

  26. revren10 says:
    Feb 25, 2015 4:47 PM
    He should beg to come to the World Champs The Juggernaut Franchise The New England Patriots

    —-

    No, he should not. And stop the BS.

  27. Hawk gets a bad rap. He has been more than serviceable in his starting role with Green Bay. Nine years is more than a career. I hope Hawk hangs up the cleats while he can still walk.

  28. idiotmillionaire says:
    Feb 25, 2015 4:47 PM
    My guess is he’s going back to Ohio. He’ll probably sign with Cleveland or jump on Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State in not too long.

    ———————————————————————————-

    Mike brown pick this guy up. We need lb depth here’s a good solid player.

  29. he played 9 years with gb and has the franchise record for tackles. sure was was never an all pro type player but labeling him a bust seems far fetched. lets reserve that label for players who actually sucked. saying that, this was the right football decision for the packers. he has gotten old very fast.

  30. 69goatboy says:
    Feb 25, 2015 4:56 PM
    Come back to Ohio, the Bengals can make room for another AJ.
    And, Lord knows, we need help at LB.
    ———————————————————————————–

    Yessss!!!!!! We need all kinds of help and this be very good pick up. Come on mike loosen those pockets up

  31. First Brad Jones and now AJ Hawk -> two moves that were LONG overdue.

    Hawk was a liability in coverage (visions of him being burned by TEs are emblazoned on my cortex) and a subpar tackler – always went for the big hit and failed to wrap up. Its only his decent play over the last year and a half that has made people forget how much of a liability he was his first seven years.

    Who cares if he was a team player and cut his salary? He obviously realized that failing to do so would have just led to an earlier release.

    Hopefully these moves are a sign that Thompson is going to be aggressive and sign Cobb and Bulaga before FA hits. Either way, I am looking forward to a new pair of linebackers next fall.

  32. Here we go, Green Bay homers taking out full page ads on the ProFootballTalk comments section.

    Take off the green and gold glasses, Hawk was average at best. Not a bust, but very average.

  33. Always good to see the “fans” of pro football at their mental peak. Not a bad run for such a sucky player. Nine years in the NFL and one title. The man hasn’t harmed me professionally or personally so I’ll wish him luck at his next location.

  34. diveleft says:
    Feb 25, 2015 4:47 PM
    As a Viking fan, I wish he would have played in Green Bay for another 9 years.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    As a Packer fan, I hope that the Vikings play in the NFC North for another half century plus.

  35. 9 years is a pretty good career. I have nothing against him personally or professionally. I don’t think he’s a starter anymore, but with so many substitutions happening nowadays, he can get some pretty good playing time in the proper system. Good luck, A.J.

  36. rosstuckershair says:
    Feb 25, 2015 5:12 PM
    And you know where he is headed next.

    Come on Spielman, there’s another one out there…

    For all the brilliant Packer fans out there. The Vikings play a 4-3 defense, why would they want Hawk and Jones. Two terrible 3-4 ILB?

    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    To upgrade their roster?

  37. Thanks for making the Packers your home for 9 years AJ. I would second the comments by TT. Solid player, solid citizen and I know you gave Green Bay all you could. Best wishes on your health and an opportunity to still play football.

  38. I see a lot of comments about how he was average. I think that’s unfounded. Was he as good as the #5 pick. No. He was a reach at #5. Still, he played for nine years and is the all-time GB leader in tackles. That’s not something to shake a stick at. I’m not sure what the average years played for a LB is but I’m guessing nine years is well past the average. You guys sound like he was a scrub. Sure, he slowed down due to injuries and everything but still, he played for nine more years than I 99% of the population. You guys need to give it a rest and stop being so idiotic.

  39. “A little off topic. Maybe Clay Matthews will finally become a man and cut his hair. Dude looks like an ugly chick. When he fluffs it before he puts his helmet on is the girliest thing I’ve ever seen.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Yea niner…..make sure you tell him that next time you see him.

  40. Well, a starter for 9 years. Seldom if ever hurt. No off field drama. A leader by example. I’ll admit his talent wasn’t worth a top 5 pick. And his overall play was average. But given the other intangibles I’d grade him as a B….congrats and good luck AJ.

  41. Just because a player has a solid career doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a bust. AJ Hawk was a pretty good player, but he came nowhere close to realizing the potential of a high first round pick. So, unfortunately, that means he’s a bust.

  42. It seems similar to the Patriots cutting Logan Mankins

    I get your point, but Mankins was traded.

    Bill Belichick, that awful GM who can’t draft but wins Super Bowls, got rid of Mankins while he had enough of value to get a TE in return.

  43. “I spent nine great years in Green Bay. I had awesome teammates and coaches and a great medical staff and equipment staff. Many of them have become my closest friends. We won a ton of games, as well as a Super Bowl, and I loved everything about playing for one of the greatest franchises in all of sports,” Hawk said. “The fans in Green Bay are incredible. Between playing at Lambeau Field as well as seeing them on the road, they always supported us. I am looking forward to my next opportunity in the NFL, but I’ll always cherish my years as a Green Bay Packer.”

    ###################################

    THE best exit message I’ve ever seen!

    Class Act!

  44. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says:
    Feb 25, 2015 6:46 PM
    Just because a player has a solid career doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a bust. AJ Hawk was a pretty good player, but he came nowhere close to realizing the potential of a high first round pick. So, unfortunately, that means he’s a bust.
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////

    You’re wrong. He re-structured his contract, mid-career, commensurate to a third or fourth round pick. You combine that unselfish act with his durability and longevity, he’ll get nothing but praise from this Packer fan.

  45. AJ is good, not great player and has been a solid player. Knowledgeable defensive QB. Was above average, a good tackler but time took its toll.

    Good luck. He’s the kind of guy who would tell the Vikings to stick it where the sun don’t shine. He’s an Ohio kid and should return there.

  46. While he may have not lived up to what they thought he was going to be, he was still a very good player that played good until last year when his play started to go a little downhill. But considering he is in his thirties, not surprised. Wish him luck wherever he goes.
    Watch, the Vikings will pick him, seems they have something for the Packers leftovers.

  47. Not gifted with speed to cover TE’s and RB’s coming out of the backfield, I don’t think A.J. Hawk ever quit on a play like some. I wish him well with his new team.

  48. AJ was a solid player, but in my opinion didn’t live up to the 5th overall pick. He was seldom hurt, and even restructured his contract a few years ago. Good luck to you Mr. Hawk. Thanks for your years of service to the Packers!

  49. rosstuckershair says: Feb 25, 2015 5:12 PM

    For all the brilliant Packer fans out there. The Vikings play a 4-3 defense, why would they want Hawk and Jones. Two terrible 3-4 ILB?
    —————————-

    The Vikings signed Desmond Bishop a couple years ago. Sometimes the only qualification you need to get signed by the Vikings is to have played for the Packers. No one’s ever accused the Viking front office of being geniuses.

  50. His little known feud with the equipment manager is finally over. 1,118 tackles is the franchise record! but so to is the little known record for 912 lost helmets during a game. Go Pack Go!
    ____________________
    What???

  51. He wasn’t the superstar that some thought he would be based on his career at tOSU, but he was a solid player for most of his career. Any chance he might come back at a reduced salary, or are they just going to go with younger players? If he will be moving on, wish him the best of luck (except when he plays against Green Bay.)

  52. Used to love watching AJ playing flag football trying to stop Adrian. Gonna miss that. Probably will go down as one of the worst 3rd overall picks in NFL history. Most undrafted free agent MLB’s would have been more productive.

  53. dorand7 says:
    Feb 25, 2015 4:49 PM
    Come Home AJ Northeast Ohio could use that Buckeye leadership….GO BROWNS

    —————————————————————–

    He is from Southwest Ohio(played against him growing up) bengals make more since

  54. Feb 25, 2015 7:59 PM

    Used to love watching AJ playing flag football trying to stop Adrian. Gonna miss that. Probably will go down as one of the worst 3rd overall picks in NFL history. Most undrafted free agent MLB’s would have been more productive.
    ==================================
    You don’t pay a lot of attention to football. There have been tons of worse Top 5 picks in the NFL.

  55. 2liveted says:

    he played 9 years with gb and has the franchise record for tackles.
    __________________________

    Owning the record for tackles made 10+ yards beyond the line of scrimmage is not something to be proud of.

    We’re going to miss him…

  56. Okay, let’s look at #5 picks from the five years prior and five years after the year Hawk was drafted, and see how he measures up:

    2001 LaDainian Tomlinson
    2002 Quentin Jammer
    2003 Terence Newman
    2004 Sean Taylor
    2005 Carnell “Cadillac” Williams
    2006 Hawk
    2007 Levi Brown
    2008 Glenn Dorsey
    2009 Mark Sanchez
    2010 Eric Berry
    2011 Patrick Peterson

  57. The chaos effect happening from the Packer’s hysteria about the Diva’s ire from the Packer’s full blown NFCCG meltdown sure is fun to watch. Can’t wait to see what panic move happens next in Green Bay.

  58. A consistently solid and dependable player. A class guy all the way. Good luck Hawk, and thanks.

  59. Say what you want about Hawk, but he was almost always on the field and gave it his best shot.

    I wish him well.

  60. And with this the Packers have now waived all the scapegoats from the NFCC..Bostick, Jones, Hawk. Coaches now hold titles to stand in front of Muffin and the bread line…

    Muffin has his coaches, Rodgers has the Tampa Bay turf, and TT has the bodies buried..The teflon trio can now rest.….and…The Packers have already won the 2016 Super Bowl…

  61. My favorite memory of AJ Hawk is watching him take extra time to sign a lot of autographs for a lot of kids after practice in Green Bay a number of years ago.

    Really good linebacker for a number of years.

    Happy trails, AJ. Wishing you success in whatever happens next.

  62. This guy was a total professional, a tackle machine, a leader of the defense. It’s a shame that most of those tackles were beyond the line of scrimmage, and that once we found another leader of the defense we realized he was a bit more expendable than we expected. Nothing against Hawk, this dude showed up to play every week and, if it wasn’t for Brett Favre being a Packer, would probably be considered an Iron Man on this team. I’ll miss him, but not because he was the “best” at his position, but because he was just an all-around good guy, a true Packer.

  63. I love how McCarthy is cutting all the GB players who made blunders during one of the biggest CHOKE jobs the world has ever seen. But to be honest, the only person McCarthy won’t get rid of is the person who made the HORRIBLE play calls that led to all those inept mistakes, which in turn led to the packers losing the game (and their self respect)… McCarthy himself.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  64. For a No. 5 overall pick, Hawk didn’t measure up. As Packers beat writer Bob McGinn said in 2013, “AJ Hawk is the definition of average.”

  65. AJ was a good example of what you want your players on a team to be. Smart, durable, and works hard and he did all of that. But, as time has gone on he became slower and you could see the unfortunate decline happening. As a Packer fan I hate seeing him go but honestly he has been declining and it was time.

  66. Packers continuing to clear out the deadwood on defense. Hawk played like a 5th round pick, not #5 overall.

    As a Vikings fan, I’ll miss the Hawk and Jones mistackling clinic. It was one of the best of its kind. All good things must come to an end though.

    Hopefully TT The Genius will draft another couple just like ’em, and I’ll grow to enjoy the sequel just as much as the original.

  67. dethrone408 says:
    Feb 25, 2015 4:47 PM
    He will be in Oakland next year along with Randall Cobb.

    ——————————————————————-

    One of the reasons Hawk was cut was to make room to sign Cobb.

  68. Norseman says:
    Feb 26, 2015 11:19 AM
    Packers continuing to clear out the deadwood on defense. Hawk played like a 5th round pick, not #5 overall.

    As a Vikings fan, I’ll miss the Hawk and Jones mistackling clinic. It was one of the best of its kind. All good things must come to an end though.

    Hopefully TT The Genius will draft another couple just like ‘em, and I’ll grow to enjoy the sequel just as much as the original.

    ——————————————————————-

    Hawk was steady if not great for the Packers. There have been plenty of #5 picks who have washed out of the NFL long before they get to 9 years in the league. You would have liked to see a higher ceiling on the guy by where he was picked but overall I think the Packers did just fine with him.

  69. He feels like a “Steeler” to me.

    I used to guess where players would go based on their names. I remember a friend of mine who graduated from the University of Iowa being disappointed Joe Mott ended up going to the Jets instead of landing with my friend’s Bears. So I said, “Joe Mott is a Jet name.” The Jets always liked those players with terse names like that. “Joe Fields.” “Bob Crable.” “Al Toon.”

    Just like the Detrot Lions like those All-American names like “Kevin Jones.”

  70. I distinctly remember when he was drafted, Tom Jackson talked about how reliable a player AJ Hawk was because at his absolute worst AJ Hawk would be an average/solid player and would never be a bust. Tom Jackson was absolutely 100% right, unfortunately he rode his entire career as that average/solid player and not the dynamo he was in college or what one would expect from the 5th overall pick.

  71. He was just an average LB. Never fast, often slow. His bad play in playoffs helped GB lose. That one play where he couldn’t decide to go tackle or cover cost GB big time.
    He is done. He is too slow to cover NFL players. Go back home to Centerville and go help Urban Decay at OSU.

  72. I don’t see how anyone can call him a bust. He leaves as GB’s all-time leading tackler. As an inside backer in a 3-4 he was never gonna be a sack machine. Maybe he was drafted too high, but that’s not his fault.

    Very solid pro player, and will make a good addition to a staff that needs veteran leadership.

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