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Finally, A.J. Hawk’s Packers’ Tenure is Over

A.J. Hawk

The other shoe has dropped.

The Green Bay Packers cut one regressing inside linebacker on Friday, when they released Brad Jones. They cut the second, nine-year veteran A.J. Hawk, on Wednesday.

I first have to say, I have literally been dreaming of this day for YEARS! While I have nothing against A.J. Hawk as a person, I have a filing cabinet full of shit that I have against him as a player. Hawk has never been anything more than just a guy. He never, ever lived up to being the fifth overall choice in the 2006 draft.

The fifth overall pick in any draft should be a playmaker. A.J. Hawk and playmaker antonyms.

About the best you could ever say about Hawk as a player is that he played hard and was a team guy.

Hawk could single-handedly be the reason NFL teams rarely pick inside linebackers in the first half of the first round.

And finally, to all of you out there seething as you read this because you want to tell me how great A.J. Hawk is, for one final time — FUCK YOU! A.J. Hawk never was and never will be great. He never lived up to his billing and now, finally, this goddam nightmare is over.

We all saw the writing on the wall this past season and that includes Hawk.

In 2014, Hawk’s play regressed from mediocre to unacceptable and his snaps were reduced dramatically. While Hawk still played a role in the little-used base defense down the stretch, he was essentially relegated to a backup role as Sam Barrington and Clay Matthews saw their roles increase inside.

During the season, in which Hawk had 89 tackles, he admitted he thought about it potentially being his last year with the Packers.

And of course, there was significant financial incentive for the Packers release Hawk as well. By cutting him, they gain $3.5 million in salary cap space.

The Packers nonetheless played coy with this move, which is exactly what we’d expect when it comes to a long-tenured veteran who has invested as much in the community as Hawk has.

In perhaps a last-ditch effort to avoid the inevitable, someone planted a story with Rob Demovsky last week about how Hawk played last season with an injured ankle. While we’re happy to commend Hawk for not being a vag like Clay Matthews, it was time for this day to come.

The Packers have finally realized what we’ve longed harped on — they need an upgrade at inside linebacker. It looks like this is the offseason they’re going to make that happen.

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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.

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38 Comments

  1. Bobby D February 25, 2015

    Oh no, who’s going to communicate?? Perfectly written article. Christmas come early. Nice guy, that plain sucked!

  2. Andrew Chitko February 25, 2015

    As Bob McGinn said in regards to Shawn Slocum…”McCarthy should have fired him the moment the plane touched down at Austin Straubel Field.”

    I think the same could have been said for Hawk the way he blew that fake field goal.

    Good luck A.J. Although you never lived up to what we hoped you would be, you brought your best to the table every single week and for that we thank you.

    Or at least I do.

    1. Savage57 February 26, 2015

      Gotta agree with the last part. We all want to live up to expectations in life, whether they’re our own or someone else’s, but when we fall short of them, it’s at least nice to be recognized for giving a shit and putting in the effort.

  3. the real russ letlow February 25, 2015

    played hard and was a team guy – that’s not a bad epilogue. listened to Hawk’s podcast. It’s easy to get to out there. He is very gracious, no bitterness and it seems like he has been planning for this termination for a while. Good dude. Good luck to him elsewhere. I’m sure Ted & Coach McCarthy have a plan so we’ll see where it goes from here.

  4. Howard Greene February 25, 2015

    A solid player and good guy who never was able to play up to the level of a high 1st round pick. Good luck, and please don’t sign with the Vikings!

  5. Cuban February 25, 2015

    ill never forget legarrette blount running all over that packers d as a member of the bucs, and on one particular play hawk just kept backpedaling all the way down the field rather than actually trying to make a play

  6. Crash February 25, 2015

    Annoying to see him out there every week missing tackles, getting ran over, and consistently blowing coverage. That being said, he was out the EVERY week. Truly durable player for the best part of his career. Too bad he couldn’t have had more of an impact during his time on the field.

  7. Big Cheezy February 25, 2015

    Rick Spielman is holding…

  8. jtmax February 25, 2015

    Hawk looked like a beast at Ohio st. He maxed out his potential in college. The pros are too big and fast for him. Key in drafting is to get guys who are good in college but has not reached their potential. Easier said than done.

  9. Richard February 25, 2015

    This horse should’ve been shipped to the Elmer’s Glue Factory years ago. Better late than never.

  10. Big B February 25, 2015

    I am giddy. At last our national nightmare is over. I can count the number of impact plays in his career on one foot. He is the Packers’ all time leading tackler so it is inevitable, albeit inexplicable, that he will one day be enshrined in the Green and Gold HOF. Kind of like a Phil Niekro equivalent in the pro baseball HOF. Underperformed as the #5 pick in the draft (could have had V Davis or H Ngata); played like a 5th rounder. Good guy, gave his all, and showed up every week, just wasn’t a game changer.

  11. Cheese February 25, 2015

    Why are the Packers all of a sudden making all these moves they should have made long ago? Brad Jones gone, AJ Hawk gone, Shawn Slocum gone, Bostick gone, McCarthy giving up play calling so he can finally start acting like a head coach. Are they finally pulling their heads out of their asses? Lets hope.

    1. Kozak February 25, 2015

      And despite ALL THAT, they were 5 minutes away from the Superbowl…..

    2. jtmax February 26, 2015

      It’s because they know that they are too good with Rodgers to be eliminated every year after the SB win and they need to win more SB before the window closes with Rodgers. They shifted from tradition of sticking with being patient with coaches and players to focus on winning now. The old formula ain’t working. If you want to win now you got to get guys who can step up when it matters.

  12. Cuban February 25, 2015

    I cant determine whether his durability and ability to be out there every week was a blessing or a curse. Granted he was there every week, but that allowed him to miss many tackles and blow alot of coverages on a weekly basis, thus contributing to an “amazing” defense.

  13. Shawn Neuser February 25, 2015

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCfmlJN510

    I invite anyone who gives a shit to watch Hawk’s sign off.

    Classy and tough guy. A lunch bucket player, which is something that every team needs to win. The play makers get the pub, more than they warrant, but you have to have the guys who just show up to work every day too.

    I would rather lose with an AJ Hawk than win with a Marshawn Lynch.

    1. rebelgb February 25, 2015

      Agreed.

    2. MMTTDCSUCK February 26, 2015

      Please tell us why you would rather lose a game than have someone like Lynch (who is a dick) on your team? That by the way, negates the other players? Good attitudes or bad attitudes mean NOTHING in the long run, and winning is why they play. Yes! let us lose so that we can be remembered as “fine upstanding losers” . . . who would rather lose than win based on the alleged moral perspective of a player on the team who gets the job done every time, versus a snail who shows up, but is a “good guy”. Nice confirmation bias . . .

      1. MMTTDCSUCK February 26, 2015

        BTW, We do not know these guys, get any financial gain from these guys, are not friends with these guys, etc. etc. etc. they most likely could give a rats ass about our opinions! So just get the best players in here period! If they are total fucktards and still do their jobs, who fucking cares? are we their hall monitors? their nanny’s? their mentors? fuck no! Get “beast mode” players in here! Win baby win! Are our ethics and morals so high that we can only advocate for the truly kind and gentle player? Get the fuck off of your high horses, you hypocritical dolts . . . this is too funny! I love this game, but you guys take the cake! Great off season banter to be sure!

        1. Shawn Neuser February 26, 2015

          Because they aren’t avatars, they are real human beings, and if the team were a bunch of a=holes, it absolutely would taint my fandom.

          Even Vince Lombardi regretted saying that it was all about winning. Of course it isn’t.

          And because of all the Super Bowl rings that TO and Randy Moss have… because attitude means nothing…err….

          1. MMTTDCSUCK February 27, 2015

            Well, you quantified my feeling about your confirmation bias. Anyways, who said it would be a “bunch” of assholes? Does Lynch = “a bunch of assholes”? No, but he plays like a bunch . . . err. While were at it, how do we know the “good guys” in interviews are not ASSHOLES? I could tell years ago listening to Greg Jennings that he was a fake, and that he most likely was an ASSHOLE. We all know now that he was. So how do you wrap your weak bias around that? Because, you know, people are human beings . . . err

  14. pf4l February 26, 2015

    If you can’t believe a 5th round pick overall, hasn’t met your expectations, you may want to go through the drafts of the last 78 years, and count how many 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th picks in the 1st round, didn’t meet expectations. Good luck with that.

    A J Hawk isn’t going to the HOF. But he’s a true football player. I’m proud to have called him a Green Bay Packer

  15. MGP February 26, 2015

    Who do you gonna hate now?!

    No more Brad Jones, A.J. Hawk, Brandon Boystick…

    1. Carlos Goodman February 26, 2015

      Oh, there is still Hollywood, Buffoon, the pussy Clay Matthews etc etc. This doucher will find something to bitch about. They could go 19-0 and fuck boy will be up in arms about the color gatorade poured on “Buffoon”.

  16. Vano Lucas February 26, 2015

    Okay. So who will now be our middle backers? Seems like a huge void for this team.

    1. Phatgzus February 26, 2015

      There’s Matthews, Barrington, Bradford, and a draft and free agency upcoming; you don’t think TT has a plan?

  17. Snarff1 February 26, 2015

    As I stated on a other post, Bostick gone, Jones gone, Hawk gone, Hawk is the only one I liked but he was just to slow. We need speed at MLB. Good luck AJ. But please don’t go to Minnesota.

    1. Savage57 February 26, 2015

      Here’s the part I don’t get. If he was such a liability whose time had come and gone and was a drag on the Packers, why wouldn’t you want him to go to Minnesota?

    2. MMTTDCSUCK February 26, 2015

      I would love for him to go to the Vikings! C’mon!He would open up the middle of the field for us!

  18. Vano Lucas February 26, 2015

    Bishop gone too.

  19. Please February 26, 2015

    Hawk is a classy guy but his release was over due by many years. Don’t you think it’s quite odd that a group of semi knowledgeable fans are three steps a head of the Packer organization when it comes to personnel? Examples: The group called for the benching and release of MD Jennings and McMillian. It took a few years but it finally happened. Called for Micha Hyde to be moved to safety during his rookie season to get him on the field…in the off season McCarthy made mention that they need to have the best players on the field and that they would try Hyde at safety to accomplish that. Called for the benching and release of Brad Jones and AJ Hawk….it took an excruciating long time (and many playoff losses) but the time finally came. Called for Carl Bradford to move to the inside linebacker position after the draft but the Packers refused to do so until the regular season started and then relented and said they would move him inside. This doesn’t seem to be rocket science. Ted I will be available for consultations after the draft and during the season…heck, call me anytime.

  20. Russelk February 26, 2015

    Don’t forget that #1 Defence that won the super bowl a few years ago that he was a captain of and basically the on-field play caller and adjustment maker for. It’s about more than statistics at that position. Ask Charles Woodson.

  21. MMTTDCSUCK February 26, 2015

    Please tell us why you would rather lose a game than have someone like Lynch (who is a dick) on your team? That by the way, negates the other players? Good attitudes or bad attitudes mean NOTHING in the long run, and winning is why they play. Yes! let us lose so that we can be remembered as “fine upstanding losers” . . . who would rather lose than win based on the alleged moral perspective of a player on the team who gets the job done every time, versus a snail who shows up, but is a “good guy”. Nice confirmation bias . . .

    1. MMTTDCSUCK February 26, 2015

      Oops! sorry for the repost . . .

  22. Deepsky February 26, 2015

    Coming out of college, Hawk was blazingly fast. Hawk was good his first year, he had some interceptions, a forced fumble, several sacks and he truly looked like the real deal. I remember thinking his first year he was a stud and was only going to get better. Then he had a series of mysterious injuries but continued to play. After that point he seemed to be just a guy. I have a theory that because he played with these injuries it brought him down from being an above average player to just a guy.

    1. Cheesemaker February 26, 2015

      Exactly. I have NEVER understood why Hawk was so pedestrian in the NFL – because not only was his college production fantastic, his combine was fantastic. He was Patrick Willis and Luke Kuechly before there was a Patrick Willis and Luke Kuechly. So why they have been the impact players everyone envisioned and Hawk was not totally baffled me. I would like to think your explanation is the right one. Otherwise, all those metrics we use to project players at the next level are totally meaningless.

  23. Pack February 26, 2015

    Granted Hawk wasn’t a huge play maker but only time will tell how the team will perform without him. It was time for him to move on but you never know my bet he was a huge locker room fav and may have contributed in bigger ways off the field. Classy guy. Hope this moves pans out- never know I guess he might be back.

  24. nurseratchett@work February 26, 2015

    Good luck & Good bye, AJ. Won’t join in on the group bashing, but Buh-Bye now. Buh-Bye.