A.J. Hawk

Hawk is no longer a Packer, but could return.

The Green Bay Packers released linebacker [intlink id=”80″ type=”category”]A.J. Hawk[/intlink], safety [intlink id=”553″ type=”category”]Derrick Martin[/intlink] and tight end [intlink id=”490″ type=”category”]Donald Lee[/intlink], Wednesday.

Hawk’s release doesn’t come as a big surprise, considering the Packers had no intention of paying his $10 million salary, which would have been guaranteed on the first day of the league year.

The league year is supposed to begin March 3, but won’t begin until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

Until there is a new agreement, Hawk won’t be able to negotiate with anyone and neither will the Packers, so there’s still a possibility he could return.

The Packers would like to bring Hawk back under a new deal, but reportedly haven’t made much progress in negotiations.

Hawk had probably his best season with the Packers in 2010, recording 111 tackles and three interceptions.

Unlike Hawk, Lee and Martin, were simply released because of their performance.

Lee was in a logjam at tight end, where the Packers have [intlink id=”209″ type=”category”]Jermichael Finley[/intlink], [intlink id=”1036″ type=”category”]Andrew Quarless[/intlink] and Tom Crabtree. Lee recorded only 11 receptions for 73 yards, in what might have been his worst season as a member of the Packers, in 2010.

The team regularly used the younger Quarless and Crabtree ahead of Lee after Finley went on injured reserve.

Martin played in only five games for the Packers in 2010 and recorded nine tackles. He never developed into anything more than a special teams player after the Packers acquired him from Baltimore before the 2009 season.

Martin was also in a logjam. In addition to [intlink id=”162″ type=”category”]Nick Collins[/intlink] and [intlink id=”1034″ type=”category”]Morgan Burnett[/intlink], the Packers expect to re-sign [intlink id=”525″ type=”category”]Charlie Peprah[/intlink] and [intlink id=”375″ type=”category”]Anthony Smith[/intlink], and seem to prefer practice squad player Anthony Levine over Martin.