The ink has barely had time to dry on veteran receiver Andrew Hawkins’ one-year contract Which was signed just over two months ago in May. But now, as training camps across the league are gearing up, Hawkins has decided to call it quits.
By: Peter Elliott – Lead NFL, MLB, and NCAA writer – @PelliottSports
He first revealed the news to Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization on Thursday, and later, to fans on UNINTERUPTED, Bleacher Report and LeBron James’ multimedia platform for athletes.
In his videotaped message, Hawkins had the following to say:
“I just got off the phone with the New England Patriots and Coach Belichick and had to inform them of my decision to retire – and hang up the cleats. After OTAs and through the summer training, my body just didn’t respond and wasn’t feeling the way it should going into camp, for training camp, let alone with the defending world champions, and you know, it basically started breaking down on me.”
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 25, 2017
Hawkins went undrafted coming out of Toledo in 2008, and helped lead the Montreal Alouttes of the Canadian Football League to consecutive Grey Cup Championships in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. His next major career step occurred in 2011, when he was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he subsequently spent the next three seasons. In those three seasons, he played in 35 games, and started in two of them, where he caught 86 passes for 995 yards and scored four touchdowns. Hawkins spent the next three seasons with Cleveland’s AFC North rival, the Cleveland Browns. In Cleveland, his performance, playing time, and paycheck all improved, however, he was released in February of 2017.
There was no guarantee as to what spot in the Patriots’ depth chart Hawkins would have been able to slide into, as quarterback Tom Brady has a multitude of high-powered weapons, including Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, as well as incoming rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.
The Massachusetts-based Concussion Legacy Foundation says Hawkins has committed to donating his brain for research purposes.
The 31-year-old Hawkins will certainly remain busy following his retirement from football, as he is pursuing a Ph.D. in business and economics. In the offseason, the scholarly Hawkins earned his master’s degree from the prestigious Columbia University, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
Talking Baws wishes the best of luck to Hawkins in all of his future endeavors.