Will the Packers keep A.J. Hawk?

Jarrett Bush (24) and A.J. Hawk (50) of the Green Bay Packers sack New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the second half of their NFL football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, September 8, 2011. The Packers won the game 42-34. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

It turns out that having the worst passing defense in NFL history is not a good formula for success in the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers might have overcome their defensive woes had Aaron Rodgers and the offense played up to their potential last week, but the New York Giants’ defense prevented that from happening.

As you might expect, there’s plenty of soul searching being done in Green Bay. Respected writer Bob McGinn breaks down all of the problems the Packers defense had this past season. One of the weak links he singles out is A.J. Hawk.

On March 2, the Packers cut A.J. Hawk to escape his $10 million guaranteed salary for 2011. The next day, they signed him for $33.75 million over five years.

It made no sense at the time for Thompson to give Hawk that kind of money. The agent for Hawk told the Packers many teams called during those few hours when his client was on the street, no doubt insinuating that some of them wanted to sign Hawk quickly before the lockout was to begin.

Thompson appeared to have taken it hook, line and sinker. More than likely the Packers were just negotiating against themselves.

But Thompson always has had a soft spot for Hawk, his first-round draft choice in 2006. Inside linebackers in a 3-4 defense, unless they’re dominant like a Patrick Willis, simply don’t deserve that kind of money.

Hawk? You’ve got to be kidding. He’s just a guy. His contract is by far the worst contract that Thompson has ever enacted.

He goes on to argue that the Packers should have kept Nick Barnett instead and that the Packers should find a way to part ways with Hawk. He then goes on to explain all the problems with the pass rush and the secondary. It’s an interesting summary of all the problems in Green Bay, but as he points out at the end of the column, the Packers just have to get back to respectability on defense given their explosive offense.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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