Veteran NFL linebackerA.J. Hawk, released by the Falcons in October, has retired as a Packer, the team for which he played nine seasons and is the all-time leading tackler, Green Bay GM Ted Thompson announced Tuesday.
“The first thing that needs to be said about A.J. Hawk is that he is a good man,” Thompson said in a statement. “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.”
Drafted No. 5 overall in 2006 out of Ohio State, Hawk registered 1,118 tackles (798 solo)from 2006-14, leading the team in tackles five times.
Just as important, Hawk was durable, playing in 142 of possible 144 regular-season games, including 136 starts and playing every regular-season game in eight of his nine seasons in Green Bay.Congrats, A.J.! : https://t.co/6UGUXxa8ng pic.twitter.com/1yKip7cFla — Green Bay Packers (@packers) April 18, 2017
Just as important, Hawk was durable, playing in 142 of possible 144 regular-season games, including 136 starts and playing every regular-season game in eight of his nine seasons in Green Bay.
“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,” 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. 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.”
Hawk, 33, also played one season with the Bengals in 2015 and appeared in one game for the Falcons last season before his release.His 158 games played from 2006-15 were the most among NFL linebackers over that span.