Much of the Saints coaching staff is currently in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Field observing the next crop of potential NFL superstars. It’s a chance for them to get a close look at players they are, and equally are not, interested as they begin to put together an early draft strategy.
While this is all going on the NFL rumor train is in full effect, starting with the future of Green Bay Packer linebacker A.J. Hawk, who is rumored to be a candidate for release largely in part to a potential 10 million dollar salary next season.
Saints fans can relate to Hawk’s situatios in Green Bay as New Orleans is currently dealing with a very similar situation in the retetion of running back Reggie Bush, who is scheduled to make a staggering 11.8 million dollar salary next season.
In Bush’s case he will have to re-structure his contract to have any chance to remain with the Saints and by all indications this will likely happen and he will not be cut as most have reported. That does not mean though that it’s a guarantee he will be retained.
Hawk’s situation is a little different as his willingness to take a pay cut is not as high as Bush. Also in early September his agent began to spread the word that Hawk wanted out citing the reason as his lack of playing time behind linebacker Brandon Chillar, who is preferred over Hawk when the Packers are in nickel and dime formations.
Chillar injured his shoulder early in the season and was eventually placed on injured reserve in November playing in only eight games and recording sixteen tackles, a sack and an interception.
Hawk thus got his wish for more playing time and responded with one of his best seasons as a pro accounting for 111 tackles, .5 sacks and three interceptions.
At the time of his original desire to be traded from the Packers I wrote an article that theSaints could be a potential suitor and that he is more than athtletic enough to play as an outside linebacker in their 4-3 scheme. Much is the same now and if he is released then the Saints need to make a run at him in free agency.