Former Bengals/Browns WR Hawkins “hanging up” his cleats

Former Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins is seen here running with the ball against the Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium on November 4, 2012. He retired Tuesday shortly after signing a contract with the Patriots.

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Former Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins is seen here running with the ball against the Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium on November 4, 2012. He retired Tuesday shortly after signing a contract with the Patriots.

Former Bengals/Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins chose an unusual way to announce his retirement Tuesday, just days away from beginning training camp with the New England Patriots.

The 5-foot-7 former University of Toledo player, who toiled for Cincinnati in 2011-'13 and for the Browns from '14-'16 before signing with New England earlier this offseason, took to Uniterrupted/Instagram to break the news.

Hawkins said that after spring workouts, his body, “just didn’t feel the way it should have.”

So, he called the Patriots and told them he was going to “hang up the cleats.”

Hawkins, who caught 51 passes for Cincinnati in 2012 and 63 for Cleveland in 2014, apparently has a backup plan. He graduated recently from Columbia University with a master's degree in sports management.

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