The Green Bay Packers have released LB A.J. Hawk. The transaction was announced Wednesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.
"A.J. is a consummate Packer and we are grateful for all that he has given and how he represented the organization over the past nine seasons," Thompson said. "He was a durable and consistent contributor to our success, but more importantly, he is a great person and teammate. The Packers are grateful for all that he has done on the field and in the community. We wish A.J., his wife Laura, and the rest of their family all the best."
"I spent nine great years in Green Bay. I had awesome teammates and coaches and a great medical staff and equipment staff. Many of them have become my closest friends. We won a ton of games, as well as a Super Bowl, and I loved everything about playing for one of the greatest franchises in all of sports," Hawk said. "The fans in Green Bay are incredible. Between playing at Lambeau Field as well as seeing them on the road, they always supported us. I am looking forward to my next opportunity in the NFL, but I'll always cherish my years as a Green Bay Packer."
Hawk was selected by the Packers in the first round (No. 5 overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. In nine seasons with Green Bay, he appeared in a 142 of a possible 144 regular-season games, starting 136 of them. Hawk ranks No. 1 in franchise history (since 1975) with 1,118 tackles, having surpassed John Anderson (1,020 from 1978-89) for the team mark in the 2013 regular-season finale. He recorded 100-plus tackles in seven of his nine years in the NFL, including in four consecutive seasons (2006-08, 2010-13).
Hawk led the team in tackles five times during his career (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012-13), which tied LB Nick Barnett for the franchise record (since 1975). The Packers made the playoffs seven times in Hawk's nine years in Green Bay, winning the division five times. In 2010, he was selected to the Pro Bowl and helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV. Hawk started 11 of the 13 postseason contests he played in, recording 70 tackles.