Former Packers linebacker Hawk to retire after 8 years

LB led Packers in tackles 5 times during career
Former Packers linebacker Hawk to retire after 8 years

Former linebacker A.J. Hawk, who played nine seasons with the Packers, said he is retiring from the team, according to a news release.

Ted Thompson, executive vice president, general manager and director of football operations announced Hawk’s decision Tuesday morning.

“We were lucky to have him,” Thompson said in a news release. “A.J. will always be a Packer.”

“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 in the news release. “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.”

Hawk played with the Packers from 2006-2014, according to a news release. He was drafted by Green Bay with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. Hawk ranks No. 1 in franchise history (since 1975) with 1,118 career tackles, having surpassed LB John Anderson’s mark (1,020, 1978-89) in the 2013 regular-season finale. Hawk led the Packers in tackles five times during his career (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012-13), which is tied with LB Nick Barnett for the top mark in team history.

Former Packers linebacker Hawk to retire after 8 years

Hawk played in 142 of a possible 144 regular-season games, with 136 starts in Green Bay, appearing in all 16 contests in eight of his nine seasons with the Packers, according to team stats. In addition to his 1,118 career tackles (798 solo), he registered 19 sacks, nine interceptions, 43 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. In 2010, Hawk earned Pro Bowl recognition after tying for the NFL lead among linebackers with a career-high three interceptions and leading the team with 134 tackles. He helped Green Bay’s defense finish in the top five in the league that season in points allowed (No. 2, 15.0 ppg) and yards allowed (No. 5, 309.1 ypg) as the Packers went on to win Super Bowl XLV vs. Pittsburgh.

Hawk led the team in tackles as a rookie in 2006 with a career-high 155 stops, the second-most recorded by a Green Bay rookie (Rich Wingo, 166 in 1979). He finished third in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting by The Associated Press and was named to the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.

Hawk also played one season (2015) with the Cincinnati Bengals and appeared in one game for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, according to the news release. His 158 games played from 2006-15 were the most among NFL linebackers over that span.