Packers Cut Hawk, But He Could Circle Back

There was no way the Packers were going to pay A.J. Hawk $12 million in 2011. And that is what they would have been on the hook for if they kept him on the roster past Thursday. So they cut him on Wednesday, along with tight end Donald Lee and safety Derrick Martin.

Hawk seems to have found a home in the Pack's defense and has become a tackling machine. He's still a bit of a liability in pass coverage, but the Packers have enough depth that they can replace him in obvious passing situations.

He's above average, but not worth $12 million and he'll never live up to his lofty draft status. With the labor unrest certain to make this a very short and strange offseason, the two sides may be poised to come to an agreement some time down the road. He's been a solid pro, doesn't get hurt and was a starter for the Super Bowl champs. Unless a team elects to throw huge money at him, chances are good they'll bring him back and let Nick Barnett go.

In the team's press release Ted Thompson said, “With A.J., the business side of the game is driving this decision. We’re hopeful that we can continue to work with A.J. to have him be a part of our team in the future.” It's going to come down to the market value for Hawk and whether the Packers are willing to pay whatever it is.

As for Donald Lee, his days in green and gold are over. Solid blocker, sometime receiver, an okay player who had some great moments, but not much consistency in his time with the Pack. With Finley coming back, along with Quarless and Crabtree, the Packers are set at tight end.

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