A.J. Hawk Released, Agrees to New 5-Year Deal

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time

AJ HawkAccording to WTMJ’s Lance Allan and JSOnline.com’s Tom Silverstein, A.J. Hawk is reported to have agreed to a new five-year contract with the Packers and will be flying to Green Bay today to finalize the deal. This would now keep both him and Desmond Bishop with the team through 2014.

The news of Hawk’s release yesterday was a little surprising, but should have been anticipated given the lack of a new, restructured contract. A.J. Hawk was entering into his final season of his rookie contract, which would have guaranteed him a $10 million base salary.

In a normal year, the Packers would be held to that amount on March 4th – the beginning of the league year. Since the CBA is still under negotiation, that start date could (and probably will) change. However, once signed, the CBA effectively begins the new season, meaning Hawk and the Packers would be working under an unknown timeline. For the two parties involved, it only made sense to work under “normal” conditions, even if they were anything but.

A.J. Hawk’s release yesterday was considered a “procedural move,” though I would be willing to bet it was also a strategical move on the part of Green Bay.

Considering the “log jam” at the ILB position, this report of a new deal for Hawk could mean some bad news for Nick Barnett. As an older player who turns 30 in May, Barnett’s recent injury bug allowed Bishop to show that he would be more than capable of taking over as starter. Additionally, Mike McCarthy recently made clear at the NFL Scouting Combine that the competition would be between Hawk and Barnett, with Bishop having the inside track as starter.

“Given the full opportunity to play,” coach Mike McCarthy said at the NFL scouting combine. “I thought Desmond had a heck of a year. You always saw it in spurts. He’s probably the most instinctive guy in the defensive front seven.”

McCarthy also went on to praise A.J. Hawk’s ability to “quarterback” the defense, saying they “were very consistent, very stable under him.” He did state the “financial part” would need to be addressed, and it seems like that’s just happened.

As we continue to monitor the situation at inside linebacker, things are gradually becoming clearer and following a fairly expected path.

Which means Nick Barnett’s future with the Green Bay Packers could be in jeopardy.


Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski


5 thoughts on “A.J. Hawk Released, Agrees to New 5-Year Deal

  1. great signing.hawk calls a great game and is a team guy.i think clay has had a positive effect on him for he was in great shape and easily had his best year….will only get better…no wheres our other olb….though i like barnett.hes to injury prone and has a big mouth,i think hes a goner.

    1. Hawk is a “coaches'” type of player. Assignment sure, hard worker, never a problem. He’s the kind of guy championship teams need, even if he’s not the most dynamic player.

  2. I’ll breath easier when he actually signs. Good job TT. Now let’s shore up the Oline.

    Don Lee and Martin gone too. I’ll miss Lee. He was a real Packer.

    1. agree he was a good packer but it was the right decision it was time to move on.

  3. I thought martin would at least have been able to compete at training camp for a special teams spot? I was surprised with this one.

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