11-year veteran linebacker, A.J. Hawk, will retire where it all began… in Green Bay.
Hawk was a fan favorite with the Packers, at times even claiming their top selling jersey. When finding that out in 2008, Hawk said, “How cool is this? My jersey is the top seller!”.
Hawk also had a very successful career on the field, as many Packers fans can say they witnessed.
Drafted as the fifth pick overall in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Hawk made an impact immediately. He led the team in tackles during his rookie campaign.
After nine years in Green Bay, he became the team’s all-time leader in tackles with 1,118, according to the Packers. He led the team in tackles five times during his career.
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One thing that set Hawk apart from the rest, he appeared in all 16 games in all but one year in Green Bay. Playing in 142 out of 144 possible snaps in the regular season.
General Manager Ted Thompson expressed his appreciation of Hawk, “The first thing that needs to be said about A.J. Hawk is that he is a good man,” then going on to say, “He was a terrific teammate and a true professional during his career, and we were lucky to have him. A.J. will always be a Packer. We wish the best to him and the entire Hawk family, and thank them for all that they gave to the team and the city of Green Bay.”
Not only Thompson, but his former head coach, Mike McCarthy also had something to say, “We were fortunate to make A.J. my first pick as head coach in 2006, and he spent the next nine years giving everything he had to the Green Bay community and the Packers,” and His leadership and toughness were instrumental in all of our success, and we thank him for all that he did for the organization and the community. We wish A.J., Laura and the rest of the Hawk family all the best, and I am confident that whatever the future holds, he will be successful.”
Since leaving the Packers, Hawk was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals for one year in 2015. Also playing one game in 2016 for the Atlanta Falcons.
It is expected that Hawk will jump full-time into some sort of media role. He has been hosting a popular podcast since 2014, “The Hawk Cast”.
–– Bobby Burack covers the Green Bay Packers and is the Managing Editor for cover32 Packers. Connect and follow on Twitter @bburack16.