If he doesn’t re-sign, I could see marginal interest in the AFC West. Even though he has played in the Packers’ 3-4 defense the past couple of seasons, many scouts think Hawk is best suited to be a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 unit. The Denver Broncos, who are moving to a 4-3, will likely use D.J. Williams at weakside or middle linebacker. Hawk is the brother in-law of Denver No. 3 quarterback Brady Quinn. Still, some 3-4 teams may still be interested. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers both employ a 3-4 defense that could use inside line help.
The Broncos gave kicker Matt Prater and linebacker Wesley Woodyard second-round tenders, assuming they will be restricted free agents. Neither player would likely get interest in restricted free agency at that price tag. In case they are restricted free agents, right tackle Ryan Harris, defensive end Kevin Vickerson and defensive tackle Marcus Thomas were all given original round tenders. All could potentially leave as unrestricted free agents depending on the new collective bargaining agreement.
Denver has a very light free-agent class, so it will be able to concentrate on signing outside free agents. Denver locked up top free-agent priority Champ Bailey last week with a four-year deal.