Packers: A.J. Hawk released

| 2 years ago
PFF-headlines

Packers: A.J. Hawk released


PFF-headlinesSomething akin to the end of an era in Green Bay as former first round pick in 2006 A.J. Hawk is released.

While his longevity and locker room presence make this something of a surprise, there’s no denying that the team have long been overdue an upgrade at the inside linebacker spot. Hawk may return, but his time as a significant contributor would seem over, with the team desperately now searching to find a combination that works.

With fewer expectations, the tenure of Hawk may be seen in a less negative light, but his play from when the ball was snapped to when it was whistled dead always left a lot to be desired. PFF has been grading since 2007 and only 2012 saw him walk away with a positive grade with his work in the run game rarely impressive. There’s every chance the team brings him back in a reduced role depending on what kind of market he finds for himself, but this move appears to signify the start of a new era at inside linebacker for Green Bay.

What that is remains to be seen. With more talent at outside linebacker in the shape of Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry it’s possible we see even more of Clay Matthews as an inside linebacker, partnering him with one of Sam Barrington and Jamari Lattimore. That said, it’s probably more likely that the team looks to add some depth and competition either via free agency (with a group that doesn’t set your heart a flutter) or the draft (which might) as the team looks to add more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.

  • Faris

    Plenty of ILB prospects for GB to consider in the draft. Should be a virtual lock that they take one in the early rounds (Kenricks, S Anthony, McKinney all viable fits), and possibly even another one in the later rounds.
    Clay remaining at ILB next season iis highly unlikely. That was clearly an emergency move – for the money they’re paying him, he needs to be making plays outside.

    • Brian Dugan

      I’m thinking they add a low-cost/possible high upside veteran there, as well. The ILB cupboard is completely bare besides Sam Barrington. I don’t have a lot of confidence in Carl Bradford… Maybe Joe Thomas will be serviceable as a early downs banger?

  • JonLee

    Has there ever been a more worthless NFL player (besides Todd Collins) than AJ Hawk? I’m not just saying this because of his PFF grade. I remember him doing nothing significant, good or bad.

    • Grand Master of Cool

      Domata Peko

    • ChiTownDan

      loved seeing the packer fans hate on Bishop, Barnett, and Brad Jones – yet give Hawk every excuse imaginable.

      • JonLee

        I’ll never forget the contract they gave to Hawk, after their Super Bowl win, instead of Cullen f’n Jenkins.

        • Brian Dugan

          And please tell me, what did Cullen Jenkins ever do after that Super Bowl? I’ll wait.

          • JonLee

            Continue to be more useful than AJ Hawk.

          • Brian Dugan

            Yeah, that’s just not accurate.

          • JonLee

            How?

          • Anthony Schroeder

            Real question is what did the packers pass defense due after losing him? Give up the most passing yards in NFL history, Although in fairness I claim it was a top 3 offense in NFL history (its rush was pitiful and yet Rodgers still obliterated everyone).

          • Brian Dugan

            You be hard pressed to prove Cullen Jenkins would have helped that. I still don’t get my fellow Packers’ fans obsession with Cullen Jenkins.

          • Anthony Schroeder

            Well fair enough. I think he would have though. But he was getting into so much trouble. Hawk was never great, and got beat with raw speed so often in his life. Still at least he was a fairly consistent player.

      • Brian Dugan

        Nick Barnett and Brad Jones were both pretty rough, but at least Jones was a 7th round pick who greatly exceeded expectations… Desmond Bishop on the other hand was a beast. Unfortunately injuries halted what was looking like another late round gem for Ted Thompson. I don’t know any fellow Packers fans that bad mouth(ed) Desmond Bishop.