A.J. Hawk wasn't going to let his ego get in the way of staying where he felt he belonged.
The 29-year-old Hawk has seen other players refuse to take a pay cut and wind up elsewhere, worse off than before. So when the Packers asked, he agreed. Hawk remains one of the team's starting inside linebackers and believes his career is just starting to peak.
''(The Packers) were super respectful how they came to me and let me know that they wanted me to be a part of this team,'' Hawk said. ''I think it's more of an ego thing than anything that guys can't get over. They don't want to say they're taking a pay cut because it hurts their ego. I let that go a long time ago.
''I wasn't worried about that. I don't care what the outside perception is, if my grandma reads that I took a pay cut and I'm not making as much money, I could put a phone call into her and let her know that, 'It's going to be OK. We'll be fine. I have a financial adviser.'''
In March, Hawk took what amounted to a three-y...