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It Looks Like the End of the Road for A.J. Hawk

A.J. Hawk

The Green Bay Packers mercifully ended the A.J. Hawk era in Titletown last offseason. The Cincinnati Bengals appear set to end the much more brief Hawk era in Ohio this offseason.

That news likely also puts an end to Hawk’s career.

Hawk signed a two-year, $3.25 million deal with the Bengals after being released by the Packers. He began 2015 as a starter in Cincinnati, but things didn’t end that way.

Hawk played in all 16 games for the Bengals in 2015, but started just 11. He finished with a career-low 24 tackles.

The Bengals signed another veteran linebacker — Karlos Dansby — earlier this offseason. The only curious thing here is why the Bengals didn’t release Hawk then.

Hawk played nine seasons for the Packers after being the No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. Kato April 26, 2016

    Always liked hawk more than others. Wish him the best of luck, it is probably time. His skills definitely waned down the stretch of his career, it was painful watching him try and chase running backs out of the backfield.

  2. g April 26, 2016

    Never understood the hate for hawk

    1. Ferris April 26, 2016

      It wasn’t hate. He was just an ordinary LB that they spent the #5 pick on. It was a weak draft though, Mario Williams, Reggie Bush year.

      1. Ferris April 26, 2016

        Cardinals took Matt Leinart that year…Oops

  3. MR April 26, 2016

    Brady Quinn must be so angry

  4. Eduardo April 26, 2016


    Never understood the hate for hawk

    Do you understand that he SUCKED?

    1. The Money Mike April 26, 2016

      Sucked? Again…”sucked” or “didn’t live up to the number 5 pick”?

      945 tackles
      20 sacks
      9 Int.
      3 FF
      (1) Pro Bowl
      2006 All Rookie Team
      Did his job without complaining
      Never hurt
      Superbowl Champ
      Hot wife

      I can think of far worse.

      1. TyKo Steamboat April 27, 2016

        You had me at “never hurt”…

  5. A J Spork April 26, 2016


    I’m sure it was a coincidence that his career nosedived after he cut his hair. I’m equally sure that the timing of both had nothing to do with the HGH testing protocols being changed to use a more sensitive assay using hair samples to implement it.

  6. g April 26, 2016

    Compare him to other packer 1st round picks, compare him to other 1st rounders that year, compare him to other packers ILBs.

    The guy was reliable and consistent. Got 9 good solid years out of him.

  7. vj April 26, 2016

    If you get good production from drafted players, regardless of their position and where they’re taken, it could be counted as a good selection. Just think of how many players aren’t durable or don’t solidify a position for you for many years. He was unspectacular but at least he was reliable and accountable and got the defense lined up correctly all of the time. It’s too bad he never lived up to the hype but it’s also fortunate he was as good as he was for as long as he was.

    Sure fire PACKER HOF’er ;)

  8. Cheesemaker April 26, 2016

    Definitely agree with those wishing him the best and acknowledging his durability and accountability. But I always go back to his college production and terrific combine – he was Luke Kuechly and Patrick Willis before there was a Luke Kuechly or Willis. So what happened? Was it PED thing?

  9. BZ in LB April 26, 2016

    AJ will go on to have a long and successful career in coaching at the D1 level – maybe even at Ohio. Best of luck to him!

  10. TyKo Steamboat April 27, 2016

    Ironically if he were 10 years younger & entering this draft Thursday night, I gotta believe we’d draft the same guy at the 27th overall pick. Slower than molasses but a solid run defender.

    Everyone wanted him traded for Marshawn Lynch in 2010 but if you believe in the Space Time continuum, (as I do, cause it’s true) then we don’t win a Super Bowl without AJ Hawk. Plain & simple… Especially when we lost Nick Barnett Week 4 that season.

    1. PF4L April 27, 2016

      Exactly Tyko.

      I don’t have any angst about Hawk that some do.

      I remember a stand up guy that didn’t have an ego and was a team player. Only missed 2 games in 9 years. Slowed down some, but always gave it all he had and left it all on the field.

      Almost forget, played ilb in 2010, leading the team in tackles, while defending 10 passes with 3 picks. While calling the defensive schemes for the NFL’s 5th ranked defense.

      AJ Hawk…Say what you will. I say he wore the green and gold with pride. I say the man was a true football player. Someone that i’m proud to say was a Green Bay Packer.

      1. Phatgzus April 27, 2016

        Well said, both of you.

  11. Eduardo April 27, 2016



    Never understood the hate for hawk

    Do you understand that he SUCKED?

    You heard me – He Sucked. 945 tackles huh? How many were solo? All he did was pile on, or touch a guy already down to pad that stat. How many were solo?

  12. g April 27, 2016


    Please respond With another question you need the answer to, and I will again educate you.

  13. Deepsky April 27, 2016

    I still think he got injured his rookie year, kept quiet, and it robbed him of his speed. His best best year was his rookie year.

  14. Nacho Dan April 27, 2016

    He was average. It’s amazing he was around as long as he was.

  15. g April 27, 2016

    Nacho dan, we are talking about Hawk not Favre.

  16. g April 27, 2016

    I would take hawks first 8 years over any of the ILBs we have now