A.J. Hawk will retire a Green Bay Packer, according to a news release issued April 18, 2017. (Photo: Packers.com)

GREEN BAY – Former Green Bay Packers linebacker and first-round draft pick A.J. Hawk will retire as a Packer, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

Hawk was drafted in 2006 as the number five overall pick out of Ohio State and played nine seasons before leaving Green Bay for Cincinnati. He also had a short stint with the Atlanta Falcons in the 2016 season.

Hawk led the team in tackles as a rookie in 2006 with a career-high 155 stops, the second most ever recorded by a Green Bay rookie, according to the Packers organization. He finished third in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting by The Associated Press and was named to the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.

“A.J. will always be a Packer,” wrote Ted Thompson, executive vice president, general manager and director of football operations. “We wish the best to him and the entire Hawk family, and thank them for all that they gave to the team and the city of Green Bay.”