Last year, Hawthorne started in place of the disgruntled Mike McKenzie early in the season but struggled. He played in all 16 regular season games and had 36 tackles, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He also led the team with 19 special teams tackles.
The Packers were only about $1 million under the league-mandated $85.5 million salary cap when free agency began on Wednesday. Since then, guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera, and safety Bhawoh Jue signed with other teams as unrestricted free agents. The Packers also were forced to released offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer prior to the free agency deadline in a salary cap move.