On Tuesday, New England Patriots wide receiver Andrew Hawkins took to the social media platform “Uninterrupted” to formally announce his retirement from the National Football League, one day before he was scheduled to report to his first training camp with the team.
Hawkins, 31, spent six full NFL seasons in the state of Ohio, splitting three years in Cincinnati with the Bengals (2011-2013) and the Cleveland Browns (2014-2016).
Originally an undrafted free agent out of the University of Toldeo with the then St Louis Rams, Hawkins saw his biggest success north of the border in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes, helping the team with back to back Grey Cup Championships before returning to the NFL.
“After OTAs and through summer training, my body just didn’t respond and wasn’t feeling the way it should going into camp,” the 31-year-old Hawkins said on Uninterrupted. “Basically it just started breaking down on me.”
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 25, 2017
Hawkins was projected by many as a long shot or “bubble player” to make the Patriots 2017 roster, with multiple established wide receivers already ahead of him on the crowded depth chart.
A day earlier, Hawkins foreshadowed some reasoning into his retirement decision with a video montage of the hits he received over the course of his career with the caption “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
It was the best of times.. it was the worst of times… pic.twitter.com/vknDEK2RCz
— Andrew Hawkins (@Hawk) July 25, 2017
According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, “The Concussion Legacy Foundation says Hawkins has pledged his brain for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The degenerative disease is known to cause cognitive and behavioral problems in athletes, members of the military and others who sustained repeated head trauma.”
Hawkins will walk away from the NFL with a bright future ahead after earning a masters degree this past off season from Columbia University with a 4.0 GPA, he will continue his education with a pursuit of a Ph.D in business and economics.
@Hawk congrats on a great career and good luck in the future bro (D-Mac)
— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) July 25, 2017
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