Packers release LB Hawk

Green Bay, WI ( - The Green Bay Packers released linebacker A.J. Hawk on Wednesday after a nine-year tenure with the team.

"He was a durable and consistent contributor to our success, but more importantly, he is a great person and teammate," general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement. "The Packers are grateful for all that he has done on the field and in the community."

Hawk, 31, underwent ankle surgery in January and was set to enter the last year of his contract. He was previously released after the 2011 season but was quickly re-signed to a new deal.

In nine seasons after being selected fifth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, Hawk accumulated 1,118 tackles and 19 sacks in 142 regular-season games. He won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers and was an alternate selection for the Pro Bowl in one season.

"I am looking forward to my next opportunity in the NFL, but I'll always cherish my years as a Green Bay Packer," said Hawk.