Yesterday, the Green Bay Packers announced they'd cut veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk. The move saves the Packers around $3.5 million in salary cap space for 2015. He'd been a staple on the Packers' defense for all of the nine seasons he's been in the league since they drafted him fifth overall in 2006.
Why is this relevant to us? Well, as you probably know, Hawk went to Ohio State, and is a native of Centerville, OH. Furthermore, the Browns have had their fair share of struggles at inside linebacker recently.
Hawk is now 31 years old, and coming off a season in which he saw the field less as the season wore on. However, he's also been the epitome of stability over the course of his nine years in the league. He's played in 142 of his possible 144 games. That's incredible for a guy that has started all of those games, and for the fact he's playing a demanding position.
Hawk was drafted very high, and while he's had a very fine career, it seems like he never really lived up to the hype. As I mentioned, he saw the field less last year, and part of that is his age, but part is also he wasn't getting the job done. The Packers ultimately moved Clay Matthews to inside linebacker for a spell.
The Browns struggles at inside linebacker are well documented. Adding Karlos Dansby last year certainly went a long way in cleaning up some of those struggles. But, in the Browns system adding another quality inside linebacker would be huge. Craig Robertson played miserably in 2013, but responded in a big way in 2014. When Dansby went down with a knew injury midway through the year, Robertson stepped up almost seamlessly.
Robertson, however, is a restricted free agent this offseason. Ideally, you'd like to see the Browns get a deal done, but ya never know.
Behind Dansby and Robertson is Christian Kirksey, who will be coming into his second year, and played respectably as a rookie last year. The linebackers played better in 2014, but the Browns could always be looking for an upgrade.
At this stage in his career, I'm not sure Hawk would be an upgrade over Robertson and Kirksey, but adding veteran players like Dansby and Donte Whitner did wonders for the Browns last year. Heck, Whitner and Hawk even played together at OSU.
Ultimately, I'm personally not buying it. I like Hawk as a player, but given the fact Dansby is already the key inside linebacker, and the promise Robertson and Kirksey have shown, I'm not sure he's worth the time and money.
Isn't he also married to Brady Quinn's sister? So there's that.
What say you, Browns fans? Would you be in favor of the Browns signing A.J. Hawk?