Packers Linebacker News: Brad Jones Released, A.J. Hawk Has Surgery

The release of Jones clears $3.75 million from the Packers' salary cap in 2015.

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Brad Jones—Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports.

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Brad Jones—Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports.

Two pieces of news regarding Green Bay Packers inside linebackers were revealed on Friday: Brad Jones was released, and it was found out that A.J. Hawk had surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle.

The Packers parted ways with Jones after he went from starting 22 games in 2012 and 2013 to losing his place in the starting lineup, getting the nod just one time in 2014.

"We thank Brad for his contributions and dedication to the Packers over the past six years,” general manager Ted Thompson said. “We wish him all the best.”

By releasing Jones, the Packers will save $3.75 million in salary-cap space in 2015, money that will largely go toward signing the team's rather sizable free-agent class.

Jones will, however, still cost $1 million in dead money against the salary cap after signing a three-year $11.25 million deal in 2013 that included a $3 million signing bonus.

A seventh round draft choice in 2009, Jones registered 293 tackles and 10 sacks while playing in 76 regular-season games, including 36 starts. Jones was a member of the Packers' winning Super Bowl XLV team in 2011.

The other item regarding Hawk was reported by Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Hawk shot down a suggestion in an interview with the media during the season that he had been playing injured despite quarterback Aaron Rodgers mentioning during his weekly radio show that Hawk had been playing hurt.

Reading between the lines, the fact that the Packers didn't also release Hawk on the same day as Jones perhaps lends credence to the notion that they may not release Hawk at all. There's nothing the Packers from doing so at a later date, however.

It's important to note that Hawk has a roster bonus of $800,000 and a workout bonus of $250,000 in 2015, although the exact date the bonuses kick in is unclear. The Packers would have to release Hawk before the bonuses kick in to avoid paying them.

One thing that's certain is if Hawk is released before the start of the 2015 league year on March 10, the Packers would save an additional $3.5 million against the salary cap, although he would still count $1.6 million in dead money.

It's possible that the Packers could renegotiate Hawk's contract and potentially bring him back if they feel as if his ankle injury severly limited his mobility.

The case for Hawk sticking around is if Clay Matthews doesn't make a full-time transition to the inside, the Packers would be entering the 2015 season with a relatively inexperienced group comprised of Sam Barrington, Carl Bradford, Joe Thomas and any other rookies or free agent additions they might add.

Although he maintained a role in the Packers' 3-4 base defense, Hawk saw his playing time decrease markedly late in the 2014 season.

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Comments (46)

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chaka's picture

February 20, 2015 at 06:13 pm

Hawk is awful. Overrated. Wasted way too much money on his below average play.

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NewNikeShoes's picture

February 20, 2015 at 08:52 pm

should we sign lyerla instead and force him to be an ILB?
Just kidding, just kidding.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 21, 2015 at 06:04 am

Re-inventing the two-way player is Lyerla's destiny. He would be All Pro at both ILB and TE, without a doubt. The first 20/20 man in NFL history...20 sack and 20 TDs.

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Flow49's picture

February 20, 2015 at 07:01 pm

Hawk should have surgery to remove all that lead weight from his behind. Maybe he'd be fast enough to make a play...

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Point Packer's picture

February 20, 2015 at 07:05 pm

Good. Brad Jones could do nothing right. The opposite of a play-maker. Overpaid.

Please dump Hawk. Good guy. Great Packer. But he's less than average at this point in his career.

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Point Packer's picture

February 20, 2015 at 07:05 pm

Good. Brad Jones could do nothing right. The opposite of a play-maker. Overpaid.

Please dump Hawk. Good guy. Great Packer. But he's less than average at this point in his career.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 20, 2015 at 07:25 pm

According to Demovksy, the surgery on Hawk was right after the season so I'm guessing he is out of the hospital by now. The Packers not wanting to break the news when Hawk is laid up would be a class move that Hawk deserves, IMO. I'm hoping that explains the delay.

OTOH, maybe they think his mobility will be fine after the surgery. The problem with that thinking is that his mobility really never was fine. He has never really been mobile enough to be anything more than average.

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GRB1531's picture

February 21, 2015 at 06:50 am

I wonder how many Packer fans know that A.J. Hawk is the all time leader tackler for the franchise. I am not trying to compare him to Mathews but check to see how many tackles each one made after the first eight games. This was before they moved Mathews to the middle where he was more effective. Teams had figured out how to defend Mathews when he was always on the outside. Mathews had a total of fourteen tackles and A.J. had fifty nine. Lets not forget Hawk directed the defense for most of the years while we had winning seasons. You may never see another Packer break Hawk's tackle record in your life time so I think he deserves more respect than most people give him credit for.

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KenEllis's picture

February 21, 2015 at 07:32 am

I am very aware of Hawk's durability and tackle totals, because I have been forced to witness him make his soft as charmin hits for 9 years.

Never a big hit. Rarely a hit near the line of scrimmage.

And he directed the D that has generally been so bad it had prevented our prolific O from getting to the Super Bowl. In fact, the D had looked confused for much of the time AJ has "led" it.

All I need to know is that the 2014 D immediately improved once Hawk (not B. jones) went to the bench. The most overpaid Packer in my lifetime needs to be shown the door.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 21, 2015 at 10:49 am

Hawk has logged a lot of snaps at a position that is intended to make tackles. His status as all-time leader is perhaps not as telling as some other franchise records might be. What's the snap count or games played among the other franchise leaders? I bet Hawk leads those, too.

Still, I do think he has been a very reliable player for the Packers. Had he been a fifth round pick instead of #5 overall, he'd likely be beloved for his consistency and durability. Instead, he carries the burden of expectations he simply never even came close to meeting.

In the end, nobody beats Father Time. I think Hawk has lost enough to him that it is time to move on. I would not want to see Barrington and Hawk together and I think Barrington is more effective already. So that settles thing, IMO.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

February 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

Reliable, yes - if you mean available. No doubt at all.

Effective (consistently), no.

I don't think where he was drafted matters much. I haven't seen anyone ever label Hawk a bust.

Hawk was a weak link for the defense for many seasons (not all). He just never made much of an impact in all of the seasons he's started.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

February 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

1 Luke Kuechly
2 DeAndre Levy
3 Lavonte David
4 Curtis Lofton
5 Paul Worrilow
6 D'Qwell Jackson
7 C.J. Mosley
8 Lawrence Timmons
9 Morgan Burnett
10 Daryl Smith

Leading tacklers last season. Some of those guys are all over the field making tackles and some of them are all over the field making tackles AND impacting the game. Hawk just makes tackles. What's Hawks best tackling season (STAT) wise? I wonder how many of them were assisted and how many were "stops". Also, did he force any fumbles that season?

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slit's picture

February 21, 2015 at 03:53 pm

GRB, good DEF is about making impact plays - tackles for loss, sacks, forced fumbles and interceptions; Hawk is terrific at making tackles 5-7 yards past the line of scrimmage, but he NEVER makes plays that change the course of a game - tell me how many interceptions/ff, sacks, and tackles for loss he has in the last 3 years. It's no coincidence that after they moved Mathews to the inside, and took Hawk off the field, our rush defense went from 32nd in the league to 8th. The best thing that can be said about Hawk is that he was able to avoid injury, unfortunately the Packers DEF would have been better the last several years had he been injured.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

February 21, 2015 at 04:06 pm

Damn, that last sentence was kind of harsh.

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badaxed's picture

February 22, 2015 at 05:13 pm

spot on.

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4thand1's picture

February 21, 2015 at 07:11 pm

Trouble is, Hawk is an all around great guy. Time to move on to coaching.

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KenEllis's picture

February 22, 2015 at 08:15 am

You dont't pay someone $35,000,000 because he is a great guy, you do it for his play on the field. Unfortunately, for the Packers Great Guy AJ played like Joe average (at best) while getting paid like a Hall of Famer.

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ben's picture

February 20, 2015 at 08:19 pm

Brad Jones was played out of position the last few years. His rookie year at LOLB was very very good. But like Hawk, he's not a guy you can put into a annually soft defensive middle.

Of course if you resign raji, then sign suh up front, the Packer's MLB play will improve no matter who ends up in there. (i love cobb, but sign suh, not cobb) (abbrederis is a cobb clone and the real deal if he can stay healthy, Janis is a Jordy clone and has the most upside of ANY WR on the team, Adams is a boykin clone and both are solid.)

------SUH/Datone-------RAJI/SUH/Boyd--------Daniels/Boyd/Neal-----
Peppers/Neal---1stRound/Perry---Clay/4thRound------Perry/Clay

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4thand1's picture

February 20, 2015 at 10:25 pm

I just became dumber by reading this post^^^^^^^

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ben's picture

February 21, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Brad Jones was very impressive as a rookie at LOLB. In limited time there he had 4 sacks and held the edge surprisingly well. Don't you find it odd that his rookie year was the best year of his career. You should.

"he never would have been moved to ILB! " ? that is my point you moron he should not have been moved inside.

I am right and historically correct. If you think that makes me look foolish than you should check your intellectual integrity.

"Abbrederis might be a slot WR like Cobb, but he is no Cobb clone, that's laughable."
4.46-forty,1.56split,4.34shtle,7.08cone,33.5vert
4.50-forty,1.60split,4.08shtle,6.80cone,30.5vert
-you can't get much closer in physical attributes you moron. If you were smart enough to get past their skin color you would be able to allow yourself to understand that they not only play the same position but are both heady players, great in the open-field, and can contribute in the return game. They also both had very similar rolls and production in college.

How can saying something so factual and accurate be considered laughable? If the person judging you is jealous, spiteful, or just lacks any intellectual integrity. This is another what I like to call, a fact you jokeshow dannybs.

and just because you find other ignorant people in here that can be just as wrong as you doesn't make you right. It just makes you as dumb as 4th &1.

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4thand1's picture

February 22, 2015 at 02:07 am

Its ben's fault for making us dumb. Lets not sign Cobb, promote Janis who didn't even play div 1 football and move on. Janis will get his chance if he deserves it. Sign Suh, lmfao.

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ben's picture

February 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

Wasn't sure if it was a jealousy thing, or if u tend to stretch the truth with yourself, or if you and danny are just dumb. Dumb it is.

Here's a simple rule for you and danny to follow: If you disagree with me, just shut the hell up, you're probably wrong. And when your wrong I'll more than likely prove it to anybody with any basic intelligence, knowledge of football, or has any sense of objectivity. I'm patient, time always tells, and I cut and paste.

Janis will eventually be the #2 receiver, then the #1 receiver for the Greenbay Packers. He, by far, has the most ability of any receiver on the roster, he was EXTREMELY productive in college, he has absolutely maximized the most of his almost non-existant opportunities here.

Janis should have been given more opportunity this year. Brad Jones was played out of position the last few years. And the Packers would be a much better team by signing Raji and SUH versus Cobb.

How valuable did James Jones turn out to be? How irreplaceable was Greg Jennings? What position did we just invest 3 quality draftpicks last year after re-signing one of the best at that same position? What has been the Packer's most consistant & greatest weakness the past 5 years?

It's apparent. It's obvious. It is right. It's not foolish.

1 championship in over a decade with Aaron Rodgers, the Labron James of football, or a better Tom Brady, is a complete failure. The 1 championship they do have was given to them by a terrific choke job by ben rothlisgberger. There are plenty mistakes being made by the greenbay packers. I was the 1st on this blog, THEE VERY 1ST, to point out that Hawk "makes all of his tackles 5-7 yards down field". That was MY goto fact when trying to point out to all you homers how over-rated this guy was while dummies like you were calling me "foolish" and pointing out how he's led the team in tackles for years .

Not only am I smarter than you danny and 4th. I have a much better grasp of the game of football than you. Shut the hell up.

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badaxed's picture

February 22, 2015 at 05:18 pm

Boy if your that good at predicting the future what are the lottery numbers for next week. LOL

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ben's picture

February 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

Wikipedia (an actual FACTUAL Database)- "He was drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, and was forced into a starting role during the 2009 season after a season-ending injury to Linebacker/Defensive End Aaron Kampman. Jones surprised many with a high degree of productive quality, producing four sacks and holding his own for the remainder of the season. Jones became the permanent starting outside linebacker when Aaron Kampman signed on with the Jaguars. He remained the starter at outside right linebacker before he suffered a shoulder injury in a game against the Vikings. He was placed on injured reserve three days later.

Following the 2011-2012 season, the Packers moved Jones to inside linebacker"

Fact2: The best year of Brad Jones's career was WITH LIMITED TIME, AS A ROOKIE, at OLB.

Fact3: Taking on blockers and defending the run is a weakness in Brad Jones's game.

Fact4: Brad Jones has shown somewhat of a knack for rushing the passer even from the ILB position.

Fact5: Saying that Brad Jones was played out of position as an 3-4 ILB doesn't make you "foolish"

Fact6: danny's a dipshit

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4thand1's picture

February 22, 2015 at 11:28 am

What do you actually dip shit into?

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murphy's picture

February 22, 2015 at 07:13 pm

"...Wikipedia (an actual FACTUAL Database)..."

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of teachers and professors suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

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ben's picture

February 23, 2015 at 07:58 am

in your demented mind

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

February 21, 2015 at 04:30 pm

Just got a big laugh imagining Ted signing Suh!

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KenEllis's picture

February 20, 2015 at 07:52 pm

Slocum check.

Bostick check.

B. Jones check.

Hawk ...

Boykin ...

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Allan Murphy's picture

February 20, 2015 at 08:46 pm

Hawk would be gone but because he had surgery he can't be released just so you no .

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zoellner25's picture

February 20, 2015 at 10:05 pm

The brad jones contract has got to be TT's worst

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KenEllis's picture

February 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm

If not jones' contract then It was Hawk's because AJ's was for even more $ and after taking a pay cut several years into the contract he remains way overpaid.

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4thand1's picture

February 21, 2015 at 07:06 pm

The trouble is Brad Jones regressed instead of improving with age and experience.

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omega's picture

February 20, 2015 at 10:07 pm

your move Vikings...

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4thand1's picture

February 20, 2015 at 10:26 pm

The queens will have B. Jones by tomorrow afternoon.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

February 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Fist pump

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johnnyd17's picture

February 21, 2015 at 07:14 am

i agree Jones needed to be gone, but feel it's unfair to blame him on the fake FG TD vs. Seattle? his job was to rush the kick, Hawk was to cover eligible receiver..was pivotal play in 3rd quarter, one of many in 2nd half...

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Nick Perry's picture

February 21, 2015 at 07:15 am

Why do I have this horrible feeling Hawk is still going to be a Packer in 2015?

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badaxed's picture

February 22, 2015 at 05:48 pm

N0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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egbertsouse's picture

February 21, 2015 at 08:49 am

I have this sinking feeling that Hawk will take another pay cut and hang around. TT just can't pass up a bargain sometimes.

AJ Hawk leading tackler!? Leads the team on jumping on piles 10 yds downfield, that's for sure.

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slit's picture

February 21, 2015 at 03:43 pm

In order for Hawk to be a bargain, at this point, he'd have to pay Thompson.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

February 21, 2015 at 10:09 am

The only shock here is that this article doesn't have over a thousand comments already.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

February 21, 2015 at 04:31 pm

Brad Jones finally gone! YES! I wish him well in Minnesota.

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The TKstinator's picture

February 22, 2015 at 01:59 pm

I am hoping that AJ's "ankle surgery" was actually a secret operation in which he had Usain Bolt's ankles transplanted in place of his own.

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badaxed's picture

February 23, 2015 at 08:32 am

Rather have the "Road Runners".

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The TKstinator's picture

February 24, 2015 at 06:48 am

Also a good choice.

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