One of the Packers’ most consistent players of the past decade announced his retirement Tuesday. Linebacker A.J. Hawk decided to hang up his cleats.
The Packers’ fifth overall draft pick in 2006 has called it a career. After an illustrious 11-year career, A.J. Hawk returned to Green Bay to retire with the team that drafted him.
While Hawk didn’t amount to a Hall of Fame-caliber guy, he remained one of the most consistent players on the defense. When he left the Packers in 2015, he departed as the team’s all-time leader in tackles with 1,118.
The linebacker spent his first nine years in Green Bay, building an outstanding career. He missed just two games over his time with the Packers, both in the 2011 season. He eclipsed 100 tackles five times, leading the team in tackles in each of those five seasons.
Green Bay actually released Hawk after the team’s 2010 Super Bowl victory, but re-signed him a day later to a five-year deal to restructure his contract. However, he wouldn’t make it through that contract’s length, as Hawk played his last game with the Packers in 2014.
He then spent a year in Cincinnati, again appearing in all 16 games. After leaving the Bengals, Hawk signed with the Falcons midway through last season. He played in one game before being released.
Hawk’s professional career did not amount to any Pro Bowl berths or other awards, but he was a valuable part of the team’s defense. His biggest contributions undeniably came as a member of the Packers, so retiring with Green Bay proves to be an honor for both sides.
Hawk also finished his career with 20 sacks, including a career high of 5.0 in 2013. He also recorded nine interceptions and 33 passes defended as a member of the Packers. He’ll likely be back in Green Bay, as the team’s all-time tackles leader should be enshrined in the team’s hall of fame.