Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk agreed to a restructured contract on Friday, according to a report from Mike Garafolo of USA Today. The new contract is a pay-cut, according to Garafolo, but not a huge one and is specifically a restructure of the final three years of the five-year, $33.75 million deal he signed in March 2011.
Kevin McCauley, of SB Nation's Packers blog Acme Packing Company, believes that the new contract for Hawk is intended to clear cap space so the team can give contracts to other major contributors on the team:
While we don't have specifics yet, this tells me that Hawk will probably make his scheduled salary this year, while the restructured later years of his deal will allow the team to give more money to the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and perhaps B.J. Raji. Again, there are no specifics yet.
Hawk, 29, was the fifth selection in the 2006 NFL Draft and has been a starter for the Packers since his rookie season. In seven seasons with the team, Hawk has played in 110 games, missing just two games in 2011 due to injury. In 2012, Hawk accumulated 81 solo tackles and three sacks.