11:29 AM ET
ESPN.com news services
Veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk is retiring from the NFL as a member of the Green Bay Packers, the team he began his career with in 2006.
“The first thing that needs to be said about A.J. Hawk is that he is a good man,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement. “He was a terrific teammate and a true professional during his career, and we were lucky to have him. A.J. will always be a Packer. We wish the best to him and the entire Hawk family, and thank them for all that they gave to the team and the city of Green Bay.”
He retires as the Packers’ all-time leader with 1,118 tackles.
Hawk, 32, was released by the Falcons last October after signing with the team earlier in the month. He appeared in just one game for Atlanta.
A.J. Hawk retires as the Packers’ franchise leader in tackles with 1,118. AP Photo/Tom Hauck
The 33-year-old Hawk, a veteran of 11 NFL seasons, played the 2015 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, recording 24 tackles and a sack in 15 games.
He spent his first nine seasons with the Packers after being the fifth overall selection in the 2006 NFL draft. He was a member of the Packers’ 2010 team that won Super Bowl XLV vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“We were fortunate to make A.J. my first pick as head coach in 2006, and he spent the next nine years giving everything he had to the Green Bay community and the Packers,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said in a statement. “His leadership and toughness were instrumental in all of our success, and we thank him for all that he did for the organization and the community. We wish A.J., Laura and the rest of the Hawk family all the best, and I am confident that whatever the future holds, he will be successful.”
Hawk had told The MMQB.com in January that he planned to file retirement papers.