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Cincinnati Bengals release linebacker A.J. Hawk

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The Bengals are waving farewell to A.J. Hawk.

Cincinnati announced on Tuesday that they have released the veteran linebacker.

Hawk started 11 games for the Bengals last season, but the signing of veteran Karlos Dansby gives the team a solid presence alongside middle linebacker Rey Maualuga and the versatile Vincent Rey. The Bengals also like second-year defender P.J. Dawson, but it's fair to wonder if the club is targeting an outside linebacker in the draft with Vontaze Burfict suspended for the first three games of the year.

At 32, Hawk could still generate interest after a solid season, but the fifth overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft looms more as a veteran stopgap after 10 productive NFL seasons with Green Bay and the Bengals.

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