Mike McCarthy wants A.J. Hawk back in 2011

A.J. Hawk is pretty much in the same boat Reggie Bush is.

No, Hawk doesn’t need to give up any awards he received. But he might need to get a new contract if he wants to remain with his current team.

Hawk has a $10 million base salary with the Green Bay Packers for 2011, just a notch below the $11 million Reggie Bush is set to earn this coming season from the New Orleans Saints. Neither player figures to get that kind of base pay.

The question is what will the Packers get done with Hawk, the inside linebacker who has turned his career around after a slow start. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported the money becomes guaranteed for Hawk on the first day of the league year.

One thing is evident: Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy wants Hawk to return.

“A.J. Hawk is a Green Bay Packer as far as I’m concerned,” McCarthy said. “I’m not going to get into business situations. You just hope they’ll work out. … A.J. as a football player and a person, he’s exactly what you’re looking for.

“There is a business side of this. You want all your players back. That’s how coaches always view these types of situations. A.J. grew tremendously, not only as a player, but as a leader in our locker room this year. Thought had a heck of a year. Hopefully everything works out.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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