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All quiet on A.J. Hawk's future with Packers

2/19/2015

INDIANAPOLIS -- If the Green Bay Packers are planning to cut ties with veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk -- or even ask him to take a pay cut -- that would be news to him and his people.

Hawk's agent, Mike McCartney, said Thursday he has no meetings scheduled with the Packers this week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis to talk about Hawk or any of his other clients.

That doesn't mean the Packers won't make some kind of move with Hawk, the 31-year-old former first-round pick who saw his playing time dwindle last season. However, the Packers typically meet with agents for players facing issues related to their contracts during the combine. For instance, they have a meeting scheduled for later Thursday with the agent for fullback John Kuhn, who will be a free agent next month.

Late in the season, Hawk's role greatly decreased. Instead of playing in all of defensive coordinator Dom Capers' packages, his only regular spot was in Capers' base 3-4. Although Hawk played 71.6 percent of the defensive snaps for the season, he was on the field for only 28.8 percent of the plays over the final six games, including the playoffs.

Hawk denied several times that injuries were a factor in his declining role or quality of play, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- one of Hawk's closest friends on the team -- made reference to unspecified ailments that were bothering Hawk.

Hawk took a pay cut following the 2012 season and before that was actually released following the 2010 season only to be re-signed a day later under a more salary-cap friendly deal.

Late last season, Hawk addressed his situation and his future.

"I've been preparing since the day I walked in here for the day I get cut," Hawk said in December. "I've been cut before, so whenever they decide to let me roll, that's something I've been preparing for since I was 21 basically, when I got drafted. But I have no idea. I can't predict the future; I definitely don't try to. I don't deal in hypotheticals, that's for sure. They can tap me on the shoulder right now and get me out of here. So our contracts aren't real contracts like that. They're not obliged to keep me here through the end of, what, next year, I guess, my contract is."

The Packers would save $3.5 million in salary-cap space if they released Hawk, who is entering the final year of his contract. Under that deal, he would count $5.1 million on this year's salary cap. His $3.5 million in base salary and bonuses would be wiped off the books and only the remaining $1.6 million of his signing proration would count on the cap.