American Football Wiki
A.J. Hawk
A.J. Hawk
Hawk duirng a Bengals game in 2015
No. 47
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: July 6 1984 (1984-07-06) (age 40)
Place of birth: Kettering, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 2 in Weight: 248 lbs
National Football League debut
Debut: 2006 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Last game: 2016 for the Atlanta Falcons
Career information
High school: Centerville (Ohio)
College: Ohio State (2005-2006)
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • BCS National Champion (2002)
  • Super Bowl champion (XLV)
  • 2× Unanimous All-American (2004, 2005)
  • Lombardi Award (2005)
  • Jack Lambert Trophy (2005)

Aaron James "A. J." Hawk (born January 6, 1984) is a former American football linebacker who played 11 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers fifth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and he would later win Super Bowl XLV with the team over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was also a member of the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons. He played college football at Ohio State, where he earned All-American honors twice and won the Lombardi Award as a senior.

Early years[]

Hawk was born in Kettering, Ohio, and grew up in Centerville, both suburbs of Dayton.[1] He attended Centerville High School, where he was a teammate of former Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent on the football team. As a freshman at Centerville High School, Hawk made the varsity football team.[1] He holds multiple defensive records and is one of three active NFL players who played for the Centerville Elks high school football team.[2] Hawk's records include most tackles in a game (31) on three separate occasions. He also has the most career tackles (583).[3] Hawk was a two-time All-State player in high school (1999 and 2000).

College career[]

Hawk enrolled at Ohio State University, and played for coach Jim Tressel's Ohio State Buckeyes team from 2002 to 2005. Ohio State won the 2002 BCS National Championship with Hawk as a freshman. During his four-year Buckeye career, he played in 51 games, starting 38 of them.[4] He had 394 tackles with 196 of them solo, 41 of them for losses, 15 and a half sacks, seven interceptions, and 13 fumbles recovered.[4] He also had two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles and two touchdowns, one on a blocked punt and one on an interception. His performances earned him first team All Big Ten honors in all three years he started and the Most Valuable Player award for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Following his senior season of 2005, he won the Lombardi Award as the best college football linebacker, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

Honoring Pat Tillman[]

Before the 2005 season for Ohio State Hawk, along with fellow starting linebackers Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel and center Nick Mangold, grew their hair out long to honor Pat Tillman.[5] They made the decision to do so after reading about him in Jim Tressel's 2004 Winners Manual handed out to all the players in the fall. Tillman turned down a National Football League (NFL) contract worth $3.6 million to join the Army in May 2002, after the outbreak of The War on Terror and was killed in action on April 22, 2004.

Professional career[]

40 from Ohio State Pro Day, all others from NFL Combine[6]
Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1 in 248 lb 4.59 s 1.56 s 2.72 s 3.96 s 6.82 s 40 in 9 ft 7 in 24 reps

Green Bay Packers[]


Hawk in 2006 during player introductions.

On April 29, 2006 Hawk was drafted in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the 5th overall pick of the draft. He signed a 6-year contract with the Packers, worth $37.5 million, on July 28, 2006.[7] He recorded his first NFL sack on September 24, 2006, when he sacked Detroit Lions Quarterback Jon Kitna in the fourth quarter. Hawk was selected the NFL Rookie Of The Week on October 23, 2006, in a win against the Miami Dolphins. He led Green Bay with 12 total tackles in the game and recorded one sack in the Packers’ 34–24 victory.

For his effort in the November 12, 2006, 23–17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Hawk was selected the NFL Rookie of the Week for the second time. Hawk recorded 13 total tackles and 1.5 sacks, and forced one fumble. Early in the third quarter, Hawk sacked the Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson for a 10-yard loss. He later combined with teammate Nick Barnett for another 10-yard sack.

On December 10, 2006, Hawk recorded his first NFL interception when he picked off Alex Smith during a 30–19 win over the San Francisco 49ers. On December 31, during the Packers' final game of the 2006 season, Hawk recorded his second interception of the season during a 26–7 win over the Chicago Bears.

In his rookie season, Hawk led the Packers' defense with 119 total tackles, 82 of them solo. He also recorded two interceptions, 3.5 sacks, six passes defended and one forced fumble.[8] He was third place in voting for the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year.[9]

Hawk was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010 and 2011.

In his second season, he was second on the team with 105 total tackles, 78 of them solo. He also had one interception, one sack, four passes defended and one forced fumble. During the 2007 postseason he recorded eight tackles and one sack in two games.

In 2008, after spending the first nine games as the Packers' weakside linebacker Hawk was moved to middle linebacker after Nick Barnett tore his ACL. Hawk had 86 tackles and 3 sacks in the full 16 game season he started for Green Bay.[8]

With a Dom Capers' hiring and the preceding switch to the 3-4 defense, Hawk moved to inside linebacker for the 2009 season.

At the end of the 2010 season, Hawk and the Packers appeared in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the 31–25 win, he was a starter and recorded five total tackles.[10]

Hawk was released by the Packers on March 2, 2011,[11] then resigned the following day, March 3, 2011, with a new five-year deal.[12]

In 2011, Hawk was fined $10,000 by the NFL for making an obscene gesture during a game against the St. Louis Rams. Hawk was an alternate for the Pro Bowl. In March 2013, Hawk restructured his contract, reducing his 2013 salary from $5.45 million to $3.6 million. His 2014 salary was reduced by $2.5 million and his 2015 salary was reduced by nearly $3 million. All told, the total value of the remaining three years on Hawk's deal is reduced by about $7 million ($17.85 million to $10.6 million), providing the Packers with more cap space.[13]

On February 25, 2015, Hawk was released by the Packers.[14] Hawk led the team in tackles in five of his nine seasons in Green Bay.[15]

Cincinnati Bengals[]

On March 10, 2015, Hawk signed a two-year, $3.25 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[16][17] Hawk recorded his first sack with the Bengals in a Week 10 game against the Houston Texans.

Hawk was released on April 26, 2016.[18]

Atlanta Falcons[]

On October 4, 2016, Hawk was signed by the Atlanta Falcons.[19] He was released on October 25, 2016.[20]


On January 7, 2017, Hawk announced his retirement on a podcast with Albert Breer.

On April 18, 2017 Hawk informed Packers' general manager Ted Thompson of his decision to retire with the Packers.[21]

GM Thompson said, “The first thing that needs to be said about A.J. Hawk is that he is a good man,” Thompson said. “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.”[21]

Mike McCarthy said, “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,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “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.”[21]

Career statistics[]

2006 GB 16 119 82 37 3.5 1 2 0 2 31 14 25 0 8
2007 GB 16 105 78 27 1.0 1 1 0 1 1 10 10 0 4
2008 GB 16 86 67 19 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2009 GB 16 89 67 22 1.0 0 0 0 2 42 21 29 0 2
2010 GB 16 111 72 39 0.5 0 1 0 3 31 10 21 0 10
2011 GB 14 84 53 31 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2012 GB 16 120 81 39 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 GB 16 118 74 44 5.0 1 1 0 1 7 7 7 0 4
2014 GB 16 89 53 36 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2015 CIN 16 24 16 8 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Total 158 947 644 303 20.0 3 5 0 9 121 13 29 0 35



  • GP: games played
  • COMB: combined tackles
  • TOTAL: total tackles
  • AST: assisted tackles
  • SACK: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • FR YDS: fumble return yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • IR YDS: interception return yards
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • LNG: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed

Personal life[]

Hawk is married to Laura Quinn, the sister of former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn. Hawk's final game with the Buckeyes was the 2006 Fiesta Bowl against [[Notre Dame Fighting Irish]|Notre Dame]], where Quinn was playing at the time. During the game Laura wore a custom-made jersey which was half Ohio State and half Notre Dame, combining Brady's number 10 and Hawk's Number 47, making the number 17. Hawk managed to sack his future brother-in-law twice during the game and was co-Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the bowl which ended with an Ohio State victory.[23] Laura gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter named Lennon Noel, on December 4, 2010. They welcomed their second child, a son named Hendrix Knight, in January 2013. Hawk also runs his own podcast called The HawkCast.[24] He is also a co-host of “Laces Out” presented by Barstool Sports, with Pat McAfee and Jerry Thornton.


  1. 1.0 1.1 A.J. Hawk Biography. Black Book Partners.
  2. Elks Football – NFL Players Archived November 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Elks Football – Team Records Archived October 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. 4.0 4.1 A. J. Hawk Bio. Green Bay Packers. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved on November 7, 2010.
  5. Archdeacon, Tom. "OSU linebackers let hair down to honor Tillman", East Valley Tribune, December 29, 2005. 
  6. A.J. Hawk. NFL Draft (March 25, 2009). Retrieved on March 25, 2009.
  7. AJ Hawk. (July 28, 2006). Archived from the original on February 21, 2008. Retrieved on December 28, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A.J. Hawk. NFL. Retrieved on December 28, 2010.
  9. National Football League: Awards. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved on December 28, 2010.
  10. Super Bowl XLV - Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers - February 6th, 2011 (in en).
  11. "Packers release A.J. Hawk", ESPN, March 2, 2011. Retrieved on March 2, 2011. 
  12. "Adam Schefter Twitter", Twitter, March 3, 2011. Retrieved on March 3, 2011. 
  13. Western, Evan "Tex" (March 18, 2013). A.J. Hawk Contract Details Released; Packers Gain $2M In Cap Space. Acme Packing Company. Retrieved on June 17, 2014.
  14. Green Bay Packers on Twitter. Twitter (February 25, 2015). Retrieved on February 25, 2015.
  15. A.J. Hawk. Green Bay Packers (2014). Retrieved on June 17, 2014.
  16. Bengals reach two-year deal with linebacker A.J. Hawk. Pro Football Talk (March 10, 2015). Retrieved on 2015-03-10.
  17. Harvey, Coley (March 12, 2015). Breaking down A.J. Hawk's new Bengals contract. Retrieved on 2015-03-12.
  18. Cincinnati Bengals Release A.J. Hawk.
  19. Jackson, Curtis (October 4, 2016). Falcons sign LB Hawk, release LB Schofield. Retrieved on October 4, 2016.
  20. Jackson, Curtis (October 25, 2016). Falcons release Person, Hawk; sign Ward, Ridley. Retrieved on October 25, 2016.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 LB A.J. Hawk retires as a Packer (April 18, 2017).
  22. A.J. Hawk Stats. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved on 26 May 2016.
  23. Fiesta Bowl. Fiesta Bowl. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved on December 28, 2010.
  24. The HawkCast Website.

External links[]

External Links[]