Ahmad Bradshaw runs over A.J. Hawk

The Green Bay Packers finally did something with the mistake that was A.J. Hawk‘s contract. They asked him to take a pay cut and he did.

The Journal Sentinel says there was a significant reduction in Hawk’s 2013 salary cap number and Tom Silverstein now tell us the reductions are as follows — $1.85 million in ’13, $2.45 million in ’14 and $2.75 million in ’15. Before the reduction, Hawk was counting $7.05 million against the 2013 cap.

Although the Packers didn’t get to the point where they threatened to cut Hawk, it’s important to note the linebacker didn’t get a restructured deal. He’s just getting paid less.

Frankly, it would have been awfully tough for the Packers to release Hawk. If the Packers released Hawk this year, $4.8 million of his original signing bonus would become dead money and count against the salary cap.

Hawk still has two seasons left on the five-year deal he signed in 2011. That contract averaged $6.75 million per season. Good move, Ted.

The agreement means Hawk is a virtual certainty to remain on the Packers roster in 2013. That’s fine with us, so long as he’s not being overpaid and he’s not starting.

If things go according to plan, Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith will return from injury and be the Packers starting inside linebackers in 2013, relegating the underachieving Hawk to backup status.

While we’re more than tired of watching Hawk get shoved around as a starter, he looks great as an insurance policy.

And, with the savings from Hawk’s deal, the Packers can go out and not sign some free agents.