Hawley has spent the past three seasons in Tampa. But after starting 14 games in 2015 and 15 games in 2016, he played in only four games last season with two starts. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the 117th pick in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. On September 7, 2015, he was released by the Falcons. On September 14, 2015, Hawley was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On March 15, 2017, the Bucs signed Hawley to a two-year, $5.5 million contracts last year, and he was scheduled to count $2.63 million against the cap in 2018. Hawley, 29, has 54 career starts in eight seasons. The Bucs have other decisions to make on the interior offensive line — Kevin Pamphile and Evan Smith, who split time at left guard, are both unrestricted free agents. Ali Marpet, who started two years at guard before moving to center last year, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Bucs had already cut two veterans in running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Chris Baker, and the three moves add about $13-million in salary-cap space, giving Tampa Bay about $73-million entering free agency.
From Joe instagram: When I was released by the Falcons 3 seasons ago, I was devastated. It was after final cuts so most NFL rosters were set. I had no idea where or if I would have an opportunity to play the game that I loved. That was until I got a call from Dirk here in Tampa. He called me up and said they needed a swing backup center/guard. He knew I could play both from our time together in Atlanta. I knew I was a starter in this league but opportunities were slim. So they signed me as a back up and I was happy to be on a roster. The week I got there they asked me if I was healthy enough to dress for the game because I was still recovering from ACL/MCL surgery from the previous season. I said hell yeah, or course I’m ready. First drive of the second half our starter goes down with an ankle injury. I get thrown into the fire after being there for about 4 days. I didn’t even know the names of some of the guys I was playing next to. It was wild. But I went in there and played the way I knew how to, with a lot of energy, confidence and finish. I went on to start the next 30 games. I’ve had such a great experience in Tampa and just wanted to say thank you to Dirk and Jason for giving me a chance when no one else would. Thank you to Bucs nation for all the love and support over the past 3 seasons. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this story it’s that if you trust the process of life and work your ass off to get what you want, you will end up exactly where you are meant to be. Although my time here is finished, I truly believe that what ever comes next is going to be bigger and greater than anything I can imagine. Bring it on. I can’t wait!!