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Bishop Is Packers No. 1 Inside Linebacker, But Hawk Makes More

A.J. Hawk

Hawk isn't the Packers No. 1 inside linebacker, but he's paid like he is.

I bet Green Bay Packers coach [intlink id=”67″ type=”category”]Mike McCarthy[/intlink] wishes he kept his mouth shut.

I bet inside linebacker [intlink id=”492″ type=”category”]Desmond Bishop[/intlink] wishes he would have waited until after the season to sign a new contract.

[intlink id=”80″ type=”category”]A.J. Hawk[/intlink], on the other hand, has to be happier than a pig in shit.

Even though McCarthy proclaimed Bishop to be the Packers No. 1 inside linebacker, he won’t be the highest paid.

Bishop, who signed a four-year extension worth $19 million in January, has an average salary of $4.75 million. Hawk, who was cut and re-signed last week, will average $6.75 million per season as part of a contract that pays him $33.75 million over five years.

Hawk is scheduled to make $10.95 million this year, which may seem odd, since the Packers cut him so they wouldn’t have to pay the $10 million salary he was scheduled to make under his old contract.

The key difference is this: the new contract included a signing bonus of $8 million. If the salary cap returns as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, Hawk’s bonus will be prorated over the length of his deal.

Thus, Hawk’s salary cap number is only $4.5 million for 2011.

That probably doesn’t matter to Desmond Bishop, though, who must be thinking he got the short end of the stick.

Unfortunately, the Packers didn’t have much choice in the matter. They weren’t prepared to take a $10 million salary cap hit by keeping Hawk under his old contract and they didn’t want to lose him, which they assuredly would have, had they not paid as much as they did.

While Hawk has never played at a Pro Bowl-level, he’s a solid contributor coming off his best season and may have commanded upwards of $7 million a year on the open market.

It’s just another case of the business of the NFL not accurately reflecting the product on the field, which sucks for Desmond Bishop.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. iltarion March 7, 2011

    No, don’t agree at all. If I do something for 5 years and you do it for 1, I make more than you. Simple. Hawk is the Captain of the defense. He has led the team in tackling or been 2nd all 5 seasons he’s been here and has never missed a game. Even if Bishop is the more talented LB right now, Hawk still deserves more than him. Biship, I imagine, is aware of this and looks forward to his next contract.
    Keep in mind when you talk about a player playing at a “ProBowl level” that all it takes to make that “level” is the vote of fans. Site whipping boy, Jay Cutler, has made that game, BTW. Tramon Williams didn’t make the game this year. Did he play at a ProBowl level?

  2. Rymetyme March 7, 2011

    tramon did make the pro bowl.. he was invited after the bears game. some people see these late additions as garbage but i see it as an opportunity to right a wrong.

  3. Madcity Packer Fan March 7, 2011

    I think Tramon was happier to go to Dallas instead. I agree that Hawk should be making more because he is a leader on defense, has more experience in the league, and that is why I am sure the Packers feel comfortable paying him over 6 mil a year. Bishop is good but one year is one year. Let’s see how he does in 2011 if we have any games to play.

  4. ay hombre March 8, 2011

    Totally agree with Iltarion and disagree with this article.

    Not unlike horse racing, the Packers are paying some for pedigree. He’s a first round draft choice, number 5 overall, that just had his best season to date. Unlike Bishop, he’s taking less money than he was due while Bishop is getting more.

    I predicted Hawk would make more than Bishop and it makes sense that he is. Also I have a really hard time believing that Desmond would be bitter about making less money than AJ.

    All in all another home run for TT.

    1. jeremy March 8, 2011

      I wish I was bitter about ~5mil per.