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Draft Scout A.J. Hawk News
04/27/16 - LB A.J. Hawk had his contract terminated by the Bengals Tuesday (April 26).
Hawk, signed last year as a free agent after spending nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers, was expendable when the Bengals picked up veteran Karlos Dansby to spell Vontaze Burfict. Burfict is suspended for the first three games in 2016.
Releasing Hawk saves the Bengals $1.6 million against this season's cap.
The 32-year-old was the fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft and is the Packers' all-time leading tackler with 1,118. He made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and was released by the Packers after undergoing ankle surgery in 2014. He was previously released by the Packers in 2011, but re-signed at a lower salary.
With the Bengals in 2015, Hawk started 11 games and had 25 tackles and one sack.
"A.J. was a big part of us last season as we won the division championship, and I appreciate his efforts," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "We're going a different direction at this point, but I've always been a fan of A.J. It has been a pleasure having him as part of our team and getting to know him and his family better."
03/11/15 - LB A.J. Hawk is returning to his home state, reaching agreement on a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday (March 10).
The former Green Bay Packers linebacker is a Centerville, Ohio, native who starred at Ohio State.
Hawk spent nine seasons with the Packers, who chose not to re-sign their No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft after last season in order to save $3.5 million against the salary cap.
In 16 games for Green Bay last year, Hawk had 90 tackles and 1/2 sack. He has not missed a game during his NFL career and leads the franchise in career tackles with 1,118. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season.
The 31-year-old Hawk, who had surgery to remove bone spurs from an ankle in the offseason, will join a linebacking group in Cincinnati that includes Rey Maualuga, Emmanuel Lamur and Vontaze Burfict.
02/26/15 - LB A.J. Hawk had his contract terminated by the Packers Wednesday (Feb. 25). Hawk played with bone spurs in his ankle last season and underwent surgery after the Packers' playoff run ended with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC title game. The league notice of his release on Wednesday indicated he had failed his physical.
As his role was reduced last season, Hawk said he could sense what would eventually happen.
"You could almost feel it in the air throughout the second half of the season," Hawk said. "I've been preparing for it for a while now mentally, but now it's real. I'm ready for some new opportunities. I feel good. Hopefully I get a chance somewhere else."
He also made sure to praise the organization for letting him know last week that he would soon be released. He said, "The Packers were awesome about it. I have no bitterness and no animosity toward anyone."
The Packers drafted Hawk with the fifth overall pick in 2006 and he had spent his entire career with them, starting 136 of the 142 regular-season games he played. He started 11 of 13 playoff games as well.
In 2010, the year the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, he was a Pro Bowl pick.
Hawk, 31, tallied a franchise-record 1,118 tackles and added 19 sacks and nine interceptions. He led the team in tackles five times (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012-13), which tied Nick Barnett for the franchise record (since 1975).
"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," general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement. "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."
Hawk said, "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.
01/01/14 - ILB A.J. Hawk led the team in tackles for the second straight season with 153, two short of his career high attained as a rookie in 2006. With eight tackles in the regular-season-ending win at Chicago last Sunday, Hawk ascended to the No. 1 spot in the team record book for most career tackles with 1,025, surpassing John Anderson's 1,020 from 1978-89.
12/26/13 - ILB A.J. Hawk needs only five tackles to shatter the all-time team record. Hawk goes into the regular-season finale at Chicago on Sunday with 1,016 tackles in his eight-year pro career, ranking him No. 2 in team history. John Anderson has the record with 1,020 tackles from 1978 to '89.