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Cincinnati Bengals sign A.J. Hawk to a two-year deal

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The Cincinnati Bengals signed former Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk to a two-year deal, bringing the Kettering native (and Centerville player) home to southwest Ohio.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have signed linebacker A.J. Hawk to a two-year deal, according to his agent Mike McCartney.

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk initially conducted his scheduled visit with team officials on Monday, according to multiple reports. Bengals.com beat writer Geoff Hobson was the first to report a possible visit this week. Hawk, who turned 31 in January, was born in Kettering, grew up in Centerville and attended the Ohio State University -- home always is a powerful motivator in sports. It's believed that Hawk was a Bengals fan growing up.

Hawk will join Rey Maualuga, who recently signed a three-year deal, and Vontaze Burfict in a linebacker unit that includes Emmanuel Lamur and Vincent Rey.

The Packers released Hawk last month with a "failed physical" designation, saving $3.5 million against the salary cap -- which is astonishing because Hawk has only missed eight of 144 regular season games in his career. The franchise-leader with 1,118 tackles, concluded a nine-year run in Green Bay, which started with a first round draft selection in the 2006 NFL draft. His best season was the Packers' Super Bowl year of 2010, when he was selected to his only Pro Bowl.