Joe Hawley down 40 pounds, eager to travel and blog in post-NFL life

Former Bucs center Joe Hawley, shown during training camp last year, has dropped 40 pounds since the season and said he'll be traveling the country as he moves forward from his playing days. [Times files (2017)]
Former Bucs center Joe Hawley, shown during training camp last year, has dropped 40 pounds since the season and said he'll be traveling the country as he moves forward from his playing days. [Times files (2017)]
Published March 2
Updated March 2

Just last week, the Bucs informed center Joe Hawley that they weren't picking up his $2.5-million option for the 2018 season. The 29-year-old seems already to have started moving toward a new chapter in his life.

While Hawley didn't use the word "retire," he made an appearance on iHeartRadio on Friday morning, announcing that he'd dropped 40 pounds since the end of the season and was excited about traveling the country.

"When the season was over, I was thinking about what I wanted to do next, because I know my career is coming to a close," Hawley said on the radio appearance. "So I decided I'm going to get rid of everything I own, give it away to charity, families in need. I bought a van recently and I'm going to move into this van, travel the country and live out of it."

Hawley took an RV to the Daytona 500 earlier this month and taped a video segment for the Bucs' official site. He said he'll be blogging and posting videos to Instagram as well as lining up his own Youtube channel as well.

"It's kind of nuts. It's really exciting," he said. "I'm going to share the whole experience. … Everybody can follow along, and hopefully I can inspire people along the way to travel and live their dreams and go after what they want."

Hawley has played eight seasons in the NFL and started 29 of 32 games at center in 2015-16 before moving into a backup role this past season. While the move wasn't presented as a permanent decision about retirement, that drastic a weight loss is a good sign of him moving on from his playing days.

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