Hawkins, 28, is a former fourth-round pick out of LSU by the Steelers in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was entering the final year of a four-year, $2.87 million rookie contract and was set to earn a base salary of $720,000 when the Steelers traded him to the Buccaneers.
Hawkins played out his deal with the Buccaneers and entered unrestricted free agency. He signed a one-year deal with the Texans but was released and signed back to the practice squad.
The Steelers signed him off Houston’s practice squad to their active roster back and he was testing the market as an unrestricted free agent when he signed a one-year deal with the Patriots.
Hawkins then later caught on with the Saints ahead of the 2022 season.
In 2020, Hawkins appeared in 13 games for the Steelers.