Hawkins has announced his retirement from the NFL, the Patriots' official site reports.
Hawkins signed with the Patriots in May and had a chance to stick with the team as depth wideout, but the 31-year-old indicated Tuesday that his "body just didn't respond the way it should" as he prepared for training camp. The 5-foot-7, 180-pounder saw action in 16 contests for the Browns in 2016, en route to hauling in 33 passes for 324 yards and three TDs.
Hawkins signed a one-year contract with the Patriots on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Hawkins was let go by the Browns back in February after spending the past three years in Cleveland. He was active for all 16 games in 2016, but failed to make a significant impact out of the slot, logging 33 receptions for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Though Hawkins now finds himself in a more favorable passing attack in New England, he'll also face heavier competition for reps. He'll likely find himself no higher than seventh on the depth chart at receiver entering camp, so unless the Patriots elect to cut the declining Danny Amendola or special teams standout Matthew Slater, Hawkins may face an uphill battle to crack the 53-man roster.
Hawkins was released by the Browns on Monday.
Hawkins' release will save Cleveland $1.8 million in cap space heading into free agency, where they'll seek to retain the services of top wideout Terrelle Pryor (finger). After posting a career-high 63 catches for 824 yards upon signing with the Browns in 2014, Hawkins saw his role diminished over the last couple years, culminating in just 33 grabs for 324 yards and three scores this past season. Soon to be 31 years old, the shifty veteran wideout will now seek to land elsewhere ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Hawkins snagged all five of his targets for nine yards during Sunday's season finale versus the Steelers.
Hawkins' last catch of the season went for a loss of 14 yards, so his nine yards on five catches is a bit misleading. Overall for the season, though, it was a quiet year for the 30-year-old veteran. He found the end zone twice but hauled in just 33 catches for 324 yards. Hawkins is under contract until 2018, but the Browns may cut him loose and turn to their plethora of young receivers.
Hawkins secured one of two targets for 21 yards during Saturday's win over the Chargers.
Hawkins hasn't seen many throws his way during the 2016 campaign, and the same could be said for Saturday. He was targeted just twice, bringing his season total to 49. He has very little fantasy value going forward, especially if he remains with the Browns, as rookies Rashard Higgins and Ricardo Louis figure to battle for the team's No. 3 receiver role in 2017.
Hawkins secured his only target for 33 yards in Sunday's tilt with the Bills.
Even though Hawkins caught just one pass, he still finished with more receiving yards than Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor (finger), highlighting Cleveland's offensive woes. The sixth-year man out of Toledo played just 52 percent of the snaps versus the Bills and doesn't figure to see his role increase any more in 2016.
Hawkins secured his only target for four yards in Sunday's matchup with the Bengals.
The 30-year-old veteran has just two catches for 24 yards over his last four contests and is really nothing more than the fourth or fifth receiving option for Cleveland. He does have three touchdowns but hasn't found pay dirt since Week 8.
Hawkins failed to catch any of his two targets Sunday against the Giants.
For the second time in the last three contests, Hawkins finished without a reception. The 30-year-old was on the field for just 40% of the team's offensive snaps and is nothing more than an afterthought receiving option.
Hawkins caught his lone target for 20 yards against the Steelers on Sunday.
Hawkins was on the field for 40 of the Browns' offensive snaps but he failed to make his mark. He has just three receptions for 33 yards over his last three games and can't be trusted in almost all fantasy formats.
Hawkins was excused from Monday's practice, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Hawkins and the Browns played last Thursday against the Ravens, so their practice Monday was a rare session that he was allowed to miss. In advance of this weekend's matchup versus the Steelers, Hawkins will hope to get more involved offensively, as he did not catch a pass last time out.
Hawkins failed to record a catch against the Ravens on Thursday night.
For the first time since Week 1, the 30-year-old veteran was held without a catch. Quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Josh McCown failed to look his way, and he finished the game without a target.
Hawkins grabbed two passes (four targets) for 13 yards in Sunday's tilt with the Cowboys.
With the return of Corey Coleman, Hawkins played a season-low 29 snaps and was unable to add to his three touchdown receptions. Hawkins still figures to be Cleveland's slot receiver, but the majority of targets will go to Coleman and Terrelle Pryor.
Hawkins hauled in five receptions (eight targets) for 31 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday's showdown with the Jets.
Hawkins connected with Josh McCown for two red-zone touchdowns, bringing his season total to three. While the veteran wideout will never be the main target in Cleveland, it's evident that he and McCown have a solid rapport, and it'll be interesting to see if that relationship continues as the season progresses.
Hawkins grabbed two of his four targets for 19 yards during Sunday's matchup with the Bengals.
The Browns have used six different quarterbacks through seven games, but none of them have been able to get Hawkins going. The 30-year-old receiver has been targeted just 25 times on the year and has a measly 15 catches for 174 yards.
Hawkins snagged three catches (on four targets) for 48 yards in Sunday's loss to the Titans.
It looks like Hawkins' season-high seven targets in Week 5 was just a flash in the pan, as the 30-year-old veteran returned to his norm with just four targets against Tennessee. If Hawkins can't consistently get the ball with Corey Coleman (hand) out, there's no reason to believe he'll be any factor at all when Coleman returns.
Hawkins secured four catches (seven targets) for 56 yards and a score on Sunday versus the Patriots.
For the first time all season, Hawkins looked like a focal point in Cleveland's offense. He was targeted a season-high seven times and was able to find the end zone with an 11-yard touchdown grab from Cody Kessler (chest). As long as Corey Coleman (hand) is out, Hawkins will find playing time, but it's nice to finally see him putting it to use.
Hawkins hauled in all three of his targets for 28 yards in Sunday's game against Washington.
Ricardo Louis got the start over Hawkins on Sunday, but the 33-year-old veteran didn't end up losing much playing time, as he was still on the field for 54 snaps. Hawkins has just 10 catches for 42 yards on the season and has been unable to get it going even with Corey Coleman (hand) sidelined.
Hawkins caught two passes for 14 yards on four targets during Sunday's overtime loss to the Dolphins.
Even though Hawkins started at wide receiver for the first time all year on Sunday, his presence was hardly felt, as he was targeted just four times, bringing his season total up to 10. The sixth-year veteran has floundered with every quarterback the Browns have thrown out there this season, only managing to haul in five passes for 42 yards through the first three games. As of now, it looks like he will continue to start alongside Terrelle Pryor until Corey Coleman (hand) and Josh Gordon (suspension) make their way back on the field.
Coach Hue Jackson said Thursday that Hawkins will start in place of Corey Coleman (hand) against the Dolphins on Sunday, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
With Coleman out four-to-six weeks and Josh Gordon (suspension) not eligible to return to action until Week 5, Hawkins is slated to line up as a starter for the Browns in Week 3, alongside Terrelle Pryor. Hawkins' looks in the offense figure to see an uptick as a result, after two straight weeks in which he was targeted three times. That said, rookie quarterback Cody Kessler will be making his first NFL start Sunday, and the Browns may just end up trying to pound the ball with Isaiah Crowell, thus potentially limiting Hawkins' fantasy ceiling.
Hawkins snagged all three of his targets for 28 yards during Sunday's loss to Baltimore.
Josh McCown's (shoulder) presence as the Browns' starting quarterback didn't do much to aid Hawkins on Sunday. The slot receiver was able to haul in three passes but was targeted the same amount as he was in Week 1 with Robert Griffin (shoulder) under center. Hawkins' fantasy value will shrink even lower if McCown is unable to play against Miami, leaving rookie Cody Kessler as Cleveland's only healthy QB on the active roster.