Hawley proved his worth last season when he stepped in as the starting center ahead of Peter Konz, who was shifted over to right tackle. The toughness Hawley displayed was a rare occurrence for an offensive line that got pushed around the majority of the season.
The former fourth-round pick from UNLV should hold down the starting role for the 2014 season. The Falcons are counting on him getting much more help from new starting right guard Jon Asamoah than he did from Konz toward the end of last season.
And yes, Konz might get a chance to compete. But it's Hawley's job to lose.
Here's how Hawley's two-year contract extension, which included a $2 million signing bonus, breaks down.