Former Cleveland Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins retired from the NFL on Tuesday, electing to announce the news himself on LeBron James’ Uninterrupted athlete social media network.
Hawkins’ 63-catch, 824-yard and two touchdown season in 2014, his first in Cleveland, was the best of his career. He finished his six-year career with 209 catches for 2,419 yards and caught nine total touchdowns.
After being cut by the Browns in February, Hawkins was vying for a roster spot with New England after joining the team on a one-year deal in May. The Patriots’ crowded receiver room presented a significant challenge for the six-year veteran, one he ultimately bowed out of prematurely to pursue other goals.
"After OTAs and through summer training, my body just didn't respond and wasn't feeling the way it should going into camp," the 31-year-old Hawkins said in his announcement (h/t Mike Reiss, ESPN). "Basically it just started breaking down on me."
Hawkins doesn’t want to become another broke and struggling statistic in his post-playing days, either. He recently graduated from Columbia University with a 4.0 GPA in sports management, and he will pursue a Ph.D. in business and economics with the ultimate goal of becoming an NFL personnel executive down the line.
Thank you, Andrew, for the time you shared with Cleveland. But thank you most for the way you approached your profession and shared your gifts with your community.
Maybe this is the point where I throw out a recycled and probably cliché quote about making each day count, but that’d be disingenuous albeit true. You did find love in a hopeless place, though, and your positivity in the midst of the struggle of being part of the most losing football team in the league speaks volumes about your character.
Maybe after Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta lay the groundwork for a contender in Cleveland, Hawkins will be back to help them finish the job, this time wearing a suit.