With A.J. Hawk Released, Packers Also Part Ways with Donald Lee

ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 06: Donald Lee #86 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 25 during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The inevitable finally struck the Packers on Wednesday, when the team released three players, as linebacker A.J Hawk, safety Derrick Martin and tight end Donald Lee have been cut by the team.

To say that this all comes as a surprise would be foolish, considering Hawk's $10 million deal was always a major question entering into the offseason period.  As for Lee, though, his release comes just one day after head coach Mike McCarthy clearly addressed the tight end position.

The good news?

With Lee's release, Green Bay now have some much needed freedom at the tight end spot.  It was reported yesterday that Andrew Quarless will be eager for playing time next season, right behind the returning Jermichael Finley.

Of course, money also played a major part in Lee's release, considering he was set to earn $2.2 million next season.  Ted Thompson told reporters that the recent cuts were purely business driven, but the recent CBA saga also plays a part.

As for Hawk, the separation may only be temporary.  A lesser deal could be placed on the table in the coming weeks, but the question of whether or not Hawk wants to return for a smaller pay check is up for debate.

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