To be clear – I liked both of these guys as people. By all accounts Hawk and Jones were very good guys, well-liked, high character guys. And in the case of Hawk, he was also apparently a quality defensive leader (scheme-wise, not physically). I also do appreciate Hawk’s ability to stay healthy and his embrace of Packer-ness. I think that counts for something for sure.
But the truth is, neither of these guys has belonged on the team for the last 3-4 years. This move should have been made years ago and it has been rather frustrating to watch management’s willingness to let this go not just because they were under-performing but because they were eating up valuable roster spots – quite likely delaying the development of other potential studs. Barrington finally got his chance this past year and look what he did with it! He has a lot more to learn but he very quickly showed how much more effective he is than Hawk was.
Mark my words, as another young talent comes in and takes over at ILB or if Matthews makes more of a full-time switch, it will become evident quite quickly just how much we’ve missed a legit presence in the middle of our defense.
I also wonder if dropping Hawk today may mean that the Packers are trying to work something out with Peppers who I heard will count a bunch against the cap if he doesn’t restructure. With Hawk and Jones gone I think we recover $7-8M of cap space. I’d like Peppers to come back…