Will Patriots Pursue AJ Hawk?


AJ Hawk was released by the Packers earlier this week, since the Patriots are thin at linebacker, will the team pursue Hawk?

Reasons for yes: The Patriots got lucky last year in regards to linebacker. They were already incredibly thin at the position when the season started, then they were able to rally together when Mayo went down for the 2nd year in a row. The additions of Ayers and Casillas down the stretch helped a little, but now they need more linebacker depth than ever. Mayo is coming off another season ending injury and now Dont’a Hightower will be out for months with his shoulder. It’s better for the Patriots to be proactive and sign AJ Hawk sooner rather than wait for trash linebackers to become available later. Hawk isn’t a star linebacker, he never really was. However, adding him to the Patriots would instantly make him one of the healthiest and one of the best on the roster. He wouldn’t be a starter, but he would be the first wall of sub package players, he’s way better than Casillas is as a starting linebacker, so there’s that going for him. He’s also a pretty healthy player, he’s only missed 2 games his entire pro career, and the best kind of ability is availability.

Reasons for no: There’s a reason that the Packers cut him, he can be a liability. He gets exploited by faster backs than can catch the football. I can’t tell you the amount of highlights I’ve seen where Reggie Bush just ran by him. Hawk is also getting old, this will be his 10th season in the NFL, and the last few years he’s been used sparingly at best. The Packers have been preparing to move on from him and there’s reasons for it. He’s not what he used to be, early in his career he was all over the place, he wasn’t spectacular, but he was a solid, consistent player, now he’s more in the mold of a Brandon Spikes, he’s not great at anything but can still get the job done if put in the right place.

This by no means would fix the depth problems at linebacker the Patriots have, but I would rather someone like AJ Hawk be able to step in over them picking up UDFA rookies and hoping they don’t screw up too much. Bring Hawk in, see what he’s got and if he doesn’t have any left just let him go. He won’t cost much, and he could have tremendous upside for the team. If nothing else, he’s good depth.