Less than 24 hours after he was released, Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk looks set to sign a new five year contract, according to a report from Lance Allan at WTMJ Milwaukee. Hawk was released due to the fact that his old contract would have paid him in excess of $10 million for the 2011 season, but there was rampant speculation that Hawk would return to the team. That speculation appears to have been proven true, and Hawk is set to fly to Green Bay to ink his new contract on Thursday.
Terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed, but Hawk's salary should be well south of the $10 million he was set to earn under his old contract. Though Hawk played in all 16 of Green Bay's games last season, starting 15 of them, the level of competition for a starting job he was set to face in training camp meant that his value to the team was nowhere near what the final year of his rookie contract paid him.
The NFL's collective bargaining agreement expires at midnight on March 3rd, so Hawk will only be able to sign a new contract up until that point. If the report is true, both Hawk and the Packers intend to do just that.