Linebacker A.J. Hawk signed a one-day deal with the Green Bay in order to retire from the NFL as a Packer. The Buckeye legend made the most of his 11-year NFL career, claiming a Super Bowl win, Pro Bowl recognition in 2010 and making franchise history with 1,118 tackles.
After being drafted by the team in 2006, Hawk finished third in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting and was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team, before going on to be one of the team’s respected leaders. During his nine years in Green Bay (2006-2014), the linebacker only missed two regular season games (in 2011) and amassed over 1,000 total tackles, 20.0 sacks, nine interceptions and four forced fumbles.
“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,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “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.”
After the 2014 season, Hawk was released and signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. He once again competed in all 16 games that season, but in a much more limited role -- only claiming 24 total tackles and 1.0 sacks on the year.
The Buckeye followed his one season with the Bengals with a half-season with the Falcons. He only saw playing time in one game and spent the majority of the season working as an analyst for various outlets.