The Packers have released LB A.J. Hawk, who had his best season with the team in 2010, as well as TE Donald Lee and FS Derrick Martin.
Hawk had a team-leading 111 tackles and three interceptions in 2010, the latter tying him for a league high among linebackers. He has also proven to be very durable, playing in all 16 games in each of his five seasons as a pro, but was set to earn a $10.5 million escalator in 2011.
Lee had fallen out of favor to younger TEs Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless and Tom Crabtree, while Martin was a non-factor in the Super Bowl run after going on I.R. in mid-October with a knee injury.
Packers GM Ted Thompson released a statement on the moves on Wednesday.
"We want to thank Donald for all of his contributions to the Packers and for being a good teammate throughout his career in Green Bay. He has been a professional and we wish him well in the future," Thompson said.
"We appreciate Derrick's work and contributions over the past two seasons. He has been a good player on our team and we appreciate his passion and energy.
"With A.J., the business side of the game is driving this decision. We're hopeful that we can continue to work with A.J. to have him be a part of our team in the future."
The way we see it
As Thompson mentioned, it would not be a surprise to see the Packers re-sign Hawk for a lower salary in the near future. Hawk was quite valuable for the team last season, filling in for the injured Nick Barnett as the defensive signalcaller in the nickel and helping the team rank fifth in the NFL in yards allowed during the regular season.