Packers LB AJ Hawk shrugs off pay cut, more interested in success than 'ego thing'

  • Updated: August 3, 2013 - 2:45 AM

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A.J. Hawk wasn't going to let his ego get in the way of staying where he felt he belonged.

The 29-year-old Hawk has seen other players refuse to take a pay cut and wind up elsewhere, worse off than before. So when the Packers asked, he agreed. Hawk remains one of the team's starting inside linebackers and believes his career is just starting to peak.

"(The Packers) were super respectful how they came to me and let me know that they wanted me to be a part of this team," Hawk said. "I think it's more of an ego thing than anything that guys can't get over. They don't want to say they're taking a pay cut because it hurts their ego. I let that go a long time ago.

"I wasn't worried about that. I don't care what the outside perception is, if my grandma reads that I took a pay cut and I'm not making as much money, I could put a phone call into her and let her know that, 'It's going to be OK. We'll be fine. I have a financial adviser.'"

In March, Hawk took what amounted to a three-year, $7.25 million pay cut off the five-year, $33.75 million deal he signed in 2011. That deal paid him $10 million up front, including an $8 million signing bonus.

Two years later, when the Packers came to him looking to reduce his pay, Hawk agreed to a restructured deal that pays him a guaranteed $2.21 million roster bonus, plus a $1.39 million salary for this year; a $3.5 million salary and $800,000 roster bonus next year; and a $3.6 million base salary and $800,000 roster bonus in 2015.

"If you look around . guys that don't accept (pay cuts), it usually doesn't go too well for you," Hawk explained. "I think any guy that plays here will tell you it's awesome, especially a guy that has gone somewhere else and came back or started somewhere else and came here. They'll let you know this is kind of the top of the heap. How they treat you, how they run the organization, everything is best. It's all I know in the NFL, so I wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere else."

The fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft, Hawk has always been a solid contributor and always durable, having played in 120 of a possible 122 games (including playoffs) while in Green Bay. Last season, he was credited with 142 tackles and three sacks but didn't have a turnover play.

With the release of Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith, the Packers cast their lot with Hawk and Brad Jones, who re-signed with a three-year, $11.75 million deal. With plenty of questions elsewhere, the only talk about the inside linebackers has been about the youngsters behind the two starters.

Hawk has done more in recent years to take care of himself. He said he has been seeing an acupuncturist weekly for the past year or so, and has also started getting massages and being more vigilant about his diet.

"They put a price on durability here. They love guys who can be durable," Hawk said. "The general public, my parents, my wife doesn't see 98 percent of the things we do to stay on the field. I think as I've gotten older — I don't claim to be very smart, but I think I know how to take care of myself better than I did when I was young. I'm 29, (but) I feel better than when I was 20 in college. I definitely do physically and mentally. People may think I'm getting older, I think I'm starting to peak a little bit."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Baltimore 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Toronto 3 Top 8th Inning
NY Yankees 5
Washington 3 Top 8th Inning
Miami 2
Chicago WSox 4 Top 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
NY Mets 2 Top 7th Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland 3 Top 6th Inning
Minnesota 2
Detroit 5 Top 5th Inning
Kansas City 0
Seattle 4 Top 4th Inning
Houston 1
Arizona 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Colorado 3
Cincinnati 1 Bottom 5th Inning
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 8:35 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
Texas - L. Bonilla 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
San Francisco - T. Hudson 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7 3rd Qtr
So Florida 14
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 9:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close