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GBPG/Dougherty = Fail On Hawk

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GBPG/Dougherty = Fail On Hawk

Back in October, Pete Dougherty wrote the following:

Regardless of his current role, linebacker A.J. Hawk says he would like to remain with the Packers beyond this season.

That decision, though, almost surely will come down to whether he’s willing to take a major pay cut from the $4.1 million he’s scheduled to make in base salary next year.

It’s a given the Packers won’t bring back Hawk next year at that pay. They presumably would ask him to take a pay cut before releasing him, and if they do, it will be up to Hawk to accept their new offer or force them to cut him so he can sign with another club.

I just remember saying on Packer Transplants at the time that there was no way the Packers would be asking Hawk to take a pay cut considering the fact that Thompson went into 2008 willing to pay Kabeer Gbaja Biamila north of 10 million to only play on 3rd downs. Also add in the fact that the last player Thompson asked to take a pay cut was Darren Sharper, and it just didn't seem plausible.

So when told point blank by Hawk's agent yesterday that the team would most certainly NOT be asking his client to take a pay cut, Dougherty gives us the following:

Hawk’s 2010 salary is $4.1 million after he reached playing-time escalators earlier in his career, and he’s also due a $500,000 workout bonus. Considering Chillar’s contract extension and the possibility that Desmond Bishop offers an alternative to share time at that position, the Packers had to think about whether Hawk was worth $4.6 million this year.

No, they didn't Pete. YOU thought about it and chose to share your musing in a blog post for all to see. You said that it was "a given". How about a follow up saying that you were wrong? Or maybe a post how you think the Packers are blowing it by hanging onto Hawk? Give me something, anything that shows me you take ownership of what you wrote back in October - unless it's only low-life bloggers that have, you know, some sense of accountability...

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (58) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jim Rarick's picture

I agree with you totally Aaron, but aren't you a trifle harsh? Sound kinda angry.

packeraaron's picture

That was actually tame compared to the first draft...

CSS's picture

Blogger fight! fight, fight, fight, fight (joins mob in circle, begins cheering)......

packeraaron's picture

Nah...Pete doesn't even know I exist.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I read the piece (I'll leave it at that) just prior to coming here, and I thought 'what was it I just read?'.

Why anyone (including myself) reads him is the question.

Dilligaff's picture

Regardless of who said what or when, Hawk is a liability at the inside LB position. I think he has some trade value and we could use him in a trade to fill a need elsewhere. If money is an issue, I can see cutting Hawk and getting players like Collins under contract. The Saints have two starting left tackles with 29 players that are either free agents/restricted. Trade Hawk for Bushrod (LT for the Saints who started in the super bowl and held Jerad Allen to 2 tackles and ZERO sacks in the NFC Champ. game).

packeraaron's picture

Completely disagree Dilligaff. Is he a superstar? No. A liability? Not by a long shot.

Dilligaff's picture

IMO it will not surprise me that Hawk is wearing a different uniform next year. Thats what a agent is going to say, TT keeps these things to himself and only allows such information out when he has played his hand. At this point we are all outsiders and can only speculate.

Dilligaff's picture

Aaron if he was a super star why did he get only 9 reps against the lowly lions? I agree saying he is a liability was over the top to make a point. But better inside LB play will go a long way to helping our secondary. I don't see him as a star, he has value in a different defensive scheme.

packeraaron's picture

Dilligaff - he plays as few as 9 snaps or as many as 40. It all depends what matches up with the opposing offensive looks. Is he perfect for the 3-4? No. But he's fine for now - you can't replace an entire roster overnight.

Ruppert's picture

It would surprise ME if Hawk was playing someplace else next year. Who, exactly, should we replace him with? Bishop? Interesting thought, I guess, but I don't think that's an overall upgrade (sorry, Aaron), and at the very least it would be a big gamble. We'd have to at least replace him with depth at the position if we did promote Bishop. And with some rather pressing needs in the draft, I'd rather not see an ILB taken anywhere in the top 4 rounds. I think they'll just pay him his $4.5 mil. That's really not that much money these days. And I think they should do it.

packeraaron's picture

Ruppert - you missed my post back in....November I think it was? I am def OFF the Bishop bandwagon.

hyperRevue's picture

Dilligaff - Aaron didn't say he was a superstar.

Dilligaff's picture

Arron I miss read you, time to put on the reading glasses. I thought you were refering to him as a super star. I agree we can't change the roster over night, but with out Hawk I think this team can get by/break even. IMO after reading other current statements and information concerning Hawk, this all could be hype to increase Hawk's trade value.

Jim in DC's picture

I could see Hawk gone in a trade for a decent (2nd rnd) draft choice. I could see us picking up a free agent 3-4 ILB. But hey...I could also see a Powerball win. :D

foundindaho's picture

I can't understand why someone who is not performing at a level justifying their salary is not asked to take a pay cut. Happens in the real world all the time.

packeraaron's picture

Come on found - you know as well as I do that the NFL is not the 'real world'...

CSS's picture

I don't see a trade happening unless Hawk is willing to take a paycut with another team. Why would a team absorb his contract (1st round draft type of contract) in essance for a second round pick? In other words, you're drafting Hawk in the 2nd round for 1st round money and not gettin the productivity. I think any franchise would rather pick a potential starter/backup in the 2nd or 3rd round (and pay the equivalent contractual money) than trade for Hawk.

packeraaron's picture

Gold star for CSS.

Jim in DC's picture

CSS, Aaron, couldn't Hawk restructure to get a longer term deal? Wouldn't that be in his best interests to obtain longer term security along with the potential to see more playing time for his (hypothetical) new team? Once again, I could also see myself winning the Powerball.

CSS's picture

Jim in DC -

I don't think too much is out of the question if you have a willing partner. However, the NFLPA (union) tends to frown on players structuring franchise friendly deals. If he restructures on the front the NFLPA expects there to be a dividend on the end. Restructuring is harder then most think.

Also, the Packers may need two (2) more drafts and free-agency to truly generate the depth and talent required to be a great 3-4 defense. You need a lot of linebackers in the 3-4.

Honestly, Hawk may not be living up to his draft position, but he's a solid player (despite being inconsistant) in a time where capable replacements are few and far inbetween. Ever stop to consider that the Hawk/Barnett combo was one big reason for the Packers finishing so high against the run? His playing time is limited due to his coverage short-comings, but he's an asset against the run in 3-4.

You eat the contract. At best, you get 4th round compensation where you likely don't find a guy that cracks #3 on the depth chart.

Dilligaff's picture

Am I understanding that Packer fans are willing to over pay Hawk for his skill set, were as other teams (would not be interested) would be better served to draft a player in the 2nd round or lower to get the same skill set at a much better price. So if Packer fans are on board with this, Chillar and Bishop together could not hold down the inside LB position as well as Hawk, thus making Chillar/Bishop worth on the open market less than a 2nd round pick. I guess I just don't see it, seems a very high price for depth, when there are so many needs elsewhere, example Collins contract. Side note, not sure we did a good thing with Chillar's contract, another debate.

CSS's picture

I hate agreeing with 'cliches', but when insiders and observers call Hawk 'assignment sure' I actually agree with what they're saying. I was screaming it before Mr. Nagler was finally on board, but Bishop has shown to be an assignment disaster under the bright lights. Pre-season/practice stud, absolute liability when real-time game spead and decision making comes into play.

I advocate overpaying Hawk THIS YEAR until you can get the proper depth you need at all linebacker positions over the next two years.

Hate Hawk for not living up to the pre-draft hype, but he knows where to be and what hole to fill when the whistle blows. Not a game-breaker but not a liability.

Dilligaff's picture

CSS, you are saying Chillar can not hold down the position himself, playing most of the snaps like Barnett? I understand Bishop's problems and controversy. Can we not add depth to the Inside LB position in free agency/late round draft pick like Brad Jones for 50% to 75% off retail.

CSS's picture

Not saying that's the case at all. My 2 cents: Packers transitioned to the 3-4 to be stout against the run. Stopping the run is not Chiller's strength. He is an athletic linebacker that gives you options and angles against the pass, or with the pass rush. However, his body cannot hold up against the ground-and-pound like Hawk.

We need depth at all Linebacker positions, especially outside. But, this will be the poorest free agency year in decades and you only have so many draft slots. Once you hit round three (3) the kid has only a 20% chance of starting.

Consider Hawk an overpaid, assignment sure run stopper that helps you bridge a year of terrible free-agency and limited draft options.

No, not ideal but I don't know of many alternatives.

retiredgrampa's picture

IMO, the ONLY time you trade Hawk is if the deal gets you a starting LT or the ability to draft one. You must lose something of worth to gain worth. This $ talk is not that important right now. The Chillar contract saw to that.

Dilligaff's picture

I don't see Hawk as that great of a run stopper, average, he too has his problems doing this as well. IMO Hawk is in a decline since his first two years. You can point to what he has done in the past, but if you look at his body of work last year he was hit or miss against the run. I think this years sucess against the run has more to do with Capers play calling and the play of Woodson/Collins/Bigby and our defensive line. The same sucess could be had with any average LB.

packeraaron's picture

Dilligaff - Hawk isn't a "great" anything. But he's serviceable and knows the scheme. Plus, he's great in the locker room. Like CSS says, you overpay this year, knowing what you're getting. And saying the same success could be have with "any average linebacker" is just absurd.

Tim Tebow's picture

Hawk isn't going anywhere.

Dilligaff's picture

What is your definition of average? For me average is not top 10 and not bottom 10, somewhere in the middle. So you consider Hawk a top 10 LB.

packeraaron's picture

Dillihaf - Are you being deliberately obtuse? What does an arbitrary ranking have to do with anything? I don't care where a guy 'ranks' (whatever that means) - can he play in the system? Do his teammates like him? These thing matter a hell of a lot more than where a guy 'ranks'.

PACKERS.'s picture

Somewhat off topic: Mr. Nagler, I don't think we gave you enough praise in the last post. You remember that some guy wrote an article way back in October, and you remember the exact contents of an article, even among all the other dozens and dozens and dozens of bloggers and reporters who write this stuff? That's what I call dedication (and a run-on sentence ;) )

PACKERS.'s picture

Not every NFL player is a star, Hall Of Fame player- some are just...players. These players are not bad, but not awesome either. They just quietly go about the business of playing their position, and adding to the team. Hawk is one of these players. I think trading or cutting him would be a big mistake.

Go Pack Go!

Dilligaff's picture

Aaron, I am not trying to be difficult, but you referred to my comment of average as absurd. I was not trying to get into a #s or ranking thing. I believe we have two definitions of average. For me average means he can play in the system, team player (locker room), and is serviceable. I think we are closer together in agreement on Hawk's skill level, you see value in him in the short run and I am willing to move on. I think we both are in agreement that Hawk is not the long term answer at the inside LB position worthy of a long term contract for big money?

RockinRodgers's picture

What else I like about Hawk is durability. He has missed only one game in his career. Its nice to have a guy who will come out and play solid football every week. Who once in a while will make a great play.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Remember how bad Ted wanted A.J. (me too, for the record... it was the correct pick at the time).

A.J. will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

That would basically equate to an admission of a swing and miss @ #5 by Ted... I don't see it.

I do think there's a place for him on the D, probably a little more $$$ than they'd like to pay for his role, but I digress.


foundindaho's picture

Aaron, I know, I know. But one can dream from time to time.

CSS's picture

Love your posts, Fitzcore1252, but TT didn't seem to avoid admitting a 'swing-n'-a-miss' with Brian Brohm. Harrell would be a casualty by now as well if it weren't for the simplicity of placing him on 'IR'. Yes, Harrell would be gone if he were un-productive and healthy.

Andrew In Atlanta's picture

Well, welcome off season! A-Nag agreeing with CSS AND using "obtuse" in the same post. What's that you say Aaron about cats and dogs living together? I'm sure I'm not as bright as you guys but most know I am an enormous Bishop fan. Tell me he's a disaster all you want and I'll tell you he never really got a full trial. Situational - sure. But if he got all the opportunities Hawk got I feel he would be a different player. Hawk is just not worth the money in my view. I see the points CSS and Aaron are making, and maybe they are right, but Bishop is a playmaker and that's what the 3-4 is about at the LB position. I'll put up my shield for the arrows that are sure to come. I guess that's why I'm not a GM (well, that and zero qualifications).

CSS's picture

I'm not a GM or coach either, I simply speculate based on the limited sample size I view on a weekly basis. The coach/GM have the benefit of practice, game tape, coaches tape, assistant coach feedback, etc..... things non of us are privvy to. That being said, I'm much more confident with the professional opinion of said coaches (all of them) than I am my amateur eye. In other words, if Bishop hasn't earned their trust to this point, in ADDITION to what my amateur naked eye has seen, I trust their assessment that the kid isn't enough of an asset to replace starters anytime soon.

For the record, Aaron and I have agreed frequently but I may have peeved him off a few times by arguing with one of his posters (in a non-respectful way).

Great feedback, Andrew, thanks.

Pack Fan In Enemy Territory's picture

" Pete doesn’t even know I exist. "

...Didn't the GBPG run a story about Cheesehead TV this year? I know you're a bit self deprecating at times, but don't sell yourself short. I guarantee that pretty much every Packer beat writer is familiar with you guys. I'm guessing you're being a bit modest though. I told Cheesehead TV was on the rise, and I have a keen eye for talent. You guys have it, & you WILL start to be recognized on a bigger level sooner or later. Mark it down & get prepared to start being looked at as somewhat of a Packer celebrity. I know that sounds cheesy(pun intended), but I really believe it. The masses have begun to flock here & will soon to start putting you guys on a pedestal. Not me though, I still view you as a 2 bit hack blogger... JK : )

jon's picture

There isn't a player in the NFL worth more than a million per season.. cut their salaries and stop charging me $230.00 a game for my Club Seats...

FITZCORE1252's picture


H-U-G-E difference between scrapping the 5th overall pick and a second rounder, late second rounder at that, #56.

5th overall = franchise cornerstone

56th = hope you grabbed a solid player, if it doesn't pan out... at least he wasn't a first rounder.

Apples and oranges IMO.

For the record, I enjoy your takes as well... usually =)


CSS's picture

Expending a #56 on a guy valued as a #1, or at least a future #1 is heavy risk, especially at QB. Big-time risk and a big time concession to say he is practice squad worth at best. Exposing a supposed successor QB or, at worst an NFL ready backup is serious business. My 2 cents.

You underestimate how valued Brohm was. DT's such as Harrell can be acceptable reaches if they are part of a rotation. Missing on a supposed future successor only to cut him loose two years later is a massive black eye fot GM's. TT made that concession and it's a black eye in the sense that the kid didn't progress. Not a black eye in the sense that a reasonable GM didn't vest himself with a mistake. Just an opinion, but I understand what you're saying. Take into consideration the modern NFL is a QB league. You miss early, you potentially set a franchise behined decades. Should Flynn fail to carry a legitimate perpetual playoff team in the event Rodgers is injured the Packers = Bills.

Dilligaff's picture

This is a statement from Hawk's agent, what has TT/MM said about Hawk's future? I expect agents to say these kinds of things putting their clients in the best possible light. I guess I would put more stock in it if it came from the Packers organization. I am not saying the agent is lying, just would like to hear something from the organization.

CSS's picture

Dilligaff - Would you expect anything less from an agent attempting to maximize his clients value? This is the ebb and flow of the NFL. I wouldn't for a second dipute the players productivity against his contract vs. his draft position/rookie contract productivity. Hawk hasn't lived up to it. yet it's pallitable (spl) to swallow for one year considering the duration of a 3-4 (2 more years) transition and the actual personnel you have at hand.

I would love a better option that can execute, but it doesn't appear on the horizon short of Misa (Utah) or McClain (Alabama) falling to the Pack. Man I love the draft! (Man free agency is grossly overrated as a fix when globally considering the league wide failure vs. success rate).

packeraaron's picture

Dilligaf - Thompson never comments on contract stuff. The only way any of this gets out is from agents talking to the press. That's part of the reason it was so shocking when he told Bedard point-blank at the Senior Bowl that they would be offering Kampman a contract. He just never does that...

Dilligaff's picture

CSS, I have been critical of Hawk since the preseason of this past year and truly feel that the problems in our pass defense comes from not getting a consistent pass rush from our front 7. To ignore that problem will be much like what we did last year with the O-line. We can draft another Woodson, but if you give the better QBs enough time they will pick you apart. I don't see Hawk's run stopping abilities to be dominate, he is much like Colledge, hit or miss. IMO on defense we need 2 additions this year, another CB/safety and a LB with the LB position as the priority.

NickGBP's picture

Bedard does the same thing that Dougherty did here.

packeraaron's picture

Nick - I don't doubt it. I just remembered this one vividly because we talked about it on the show.

wgbeethree's picture

We as a fanbase often suffer from ''overexaggerated expectations''. We often truly expect every position to have a superstar player and anyone who isn't one is considered an underachiever. Grant, Kampman, Colledge, and Hawk seem to be the guys who face this critism the most. They all perform better than average IMO (mine and dilligaff's definition differs on what is good/average/bad....mine is a 1/4,1/2,1/4 split, he said his is top 10/everybody else/bottom 10). Those 4 guys may not be top 10 at their positions but IMO they are all easily in the top quarter of the league at their positions (top 25ish for RB and top 40ish for the others). A team doesn't need (and IMO can't reasonably be expected to have) great players at every position. IMO a team only needs 3 or 4 playmakers on each side of the ball. They can be very succesful if they do and the other 7 or 8 guys are merely solid and assignment sure. Would I like to have a superstar at every position? Of course...but I'm willing to ''except'' solid. That doesn't mean I think we shouldn't or can't upgrade those positions or players if things fall that way, it means I don't think you go out of your way to do so. While Hawk at 4.5 million may not be the best case scenario ILB is far from being a MUST address situation this year. Barnett/Hawk/Chillar/Bishop is a better option than Barnett/Chillar/Bishop/???. At nearly 11 million for Hawk next year this idea becomes much more pertinent. IMO the Packers (should and) will hold off making any major decisions on Hawk until then.

Middleman's picture

Having trouble understanding this Hawk-Bash. When we look at his stats, he's 2nd on the front 7 w/ tackles/assists,and tied for 2nd in stuffs, and the only LB w/ any INT's!
If it's all about the $4.6 mil., they could save a lot of money by getting rid of at least 8 players that are on this team year to year, and contribute ZIP! Just ck. the stats, and it's easy to pick them out, yet we keep them and keep paying them!?!?! I can be more specific, but none of the arguments support trading Hawk!!

Dilligaff's picture

The NY Giants are looking for a middle LB, they just released Antonio Pierce who was put on IR on Nov. 30 with a bulging disk in his neck.

I can smell at trade here, Hawk will make over 10 million in 2011, this year is the year if we want to trade him we can get it done, we will have to pay him in 2011 or cut him.

I can see keeping Hawk if his contract was reasonable long term (5 million), thus worth keeping him on the team this year hoping he catches on to the 3-4 system. Since he has no long term out look, why pay him to learn to just be released the following year. Even if he improves and justifies he is worth 5 million, is TT going to pay him twice as much?


packeraaron's picture

Um, Dilligaff? Did you miss 2008 when Hawk was moved to the MLB spot in the 4-3? He was terrible. He's best suited to be a weakside backer in a 4-3.

Dilligaff's picture

He was hurt and playing through it in 2008. I like his character and determination but I just don't see paying a player 5 million this year to continue to learn/prove himself with no long term out look because of his 2011 contract. Even if he is somewhat successful this year, he still has a good chance of being released next year. I agree with you it would take TT a great deal of salesmanship to make this happen. I would take a 3rd or 4th round pick in trade to at least get something in return, unlike with Brohm, we invest a lot of time and a 2nd round pick and received nothing in return.

Dilligaff's picture

Here is my question. Assuming Hawk can be traded to recieve a 3rd or 4th round pick from someone or a Ryan Grant "type player", Is Hawk worth paying 5 million dollars and giving up a 3rd or 4th round pick this year? Its not just about over paying him, we are giving up his current trade value as we lose the ability to trade him in 2011. What am I missing here?

andrew's picture

aaron... do you really think hawk isnt a good fit for the 3-4 everyone says he slacks but he isnt given a lot of play time to prove himself really... bishop and chillar are both bums.. they are fill in guys at the most.. seriously if we were to start either of them nd trade hawk it would be a big step backwards.. hawk isnt a superstar.. but if you look at the stats he is very solid.. is he worth 10 mil a year from now.. no.. but i think hawk knows that nd would be willing to sign another contract with the packers for less money but i think 4 mil is a good number.. if he gets a little better in his pass protectiong he is a very solid ilb... nd all of you who say he doesnt pressure the qb HE DOESNT BLITZ! i dont know where you get your information from.. but hawk almost never blitzes... seriously.. ilb and mlbs dont blitz very often its the olbs that blitz.. that would be something you would draft for.. nd send a player in just for the sake of blitz plays nd have him float around.. barnett cant blitz either.. no one is complaining about him?.. it makes no sense hawk may be somewhat of a paper tiger.. but he is a solid linebacker and a big step above the other players we have right now he does have a longterm outlook with the packers if he has a good season this year... he deserves more snaps nd chillar was given an extension as a 3rd linebacker to rotate in with barnett and hawk when they need a breather.. which is something the packers HAVE ALWAYS DONE with there front 7.. i really dont get you guys you say you want a super star who makes real big plays.. that doesnt happen without players like hawk that make the normal everyday plays nd give the playmakers the opportunity.. im all for hawk staying as long as possible nd bishop nd chillar are going to disapoint you just an fyi..

packeraaron's picture

Andrew - He's a fine fit, just not ideal. And I disagree that he almost 'never blitzes' - he blitzed more this year than he ever did under Sanders, usually in tandem with Barnett on their cross-A Gap blitz. The guy just isn't phyiscial enough, not on a consistent basis and especially not in a defense that leaves offensive guards uncovered and free to charge upfeild and find him. He is what he is - serviceable. And I completely agree that Bishop and Chillar are disappointments, esp Bishop.

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