Desperate to find cap room to sign Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji in the upcoming years they must be diligent in whom they chose to sign.
AJ Hawk must agree to restructure his contract
Clay Matthews is a dominate force as a Pro Bowler, but according to reports could be looking for Mario Williams type of money. Signed to a 5-year $13.10 million contract he is scheduled to make $3.73 million in 2013.
Matthews is worth every penny and the Packers linebacker core is in good shape with Nick Perry on the other side. He showed a glimpse of what he could be before an injury knocked him out.
The Packers must decide if A.J. Hawk is too expensive to keep on the roster.
Hawk signed a six-year $33.75 million deal before the 2011 season and has never lived up to expectations as the fifth overall draft selection in 2006. The contract guaranteed him $10.5 million in 2011 as long as he was on the Packers’ roster the first day of the league year.
As of now, the Packers have not approached Hawk about a pay cut, but it’s only a matter of time. According to Twincities.com Mike McCartney, the longtime agent for Hawk, said he planned to discuss that looming possibility in a face-to-face meeting with his client this week. ”A.J. and I haven’t broached that subject yet,” McCartney said at the National Football League scouting combine. “We really haven’t. But we will. I know Green Bay values A.J.,” said McCartney. “I know they like A.J. a lot … and I know they have some issues. So we’ll see.”
If the Packers were to release A.J. Hawk they would gain $5.45 million against the 2013 salary cap by eliminating his $4.9 base salary and respective bonuses, but the problem is, releasing Hawk would count $1.6 million against the 2013 cap and $3.2 million in the future due to an $8 million signing bonus.
According to Twincities.com, Hawk is only 29 and led the linebackers in tackles per snap (one every 5.3), allowed the fewest plays of 20 yards or more (21/2) of any linebacker and led the team in tackles (157) and tackles for loss with a career-high 51/2.
If A.J. Hawk has any intentions of staying with the Packers he must restructure his contract. If things go sour expect the Packers to release him and look for a cheaper replacement like Nick Barnett who is a former Packer and was recently released by the Buffalo Bills.