Former CFL and NFL receiver Andrew Hawkins has had quite the post-playing media career so far, including co-hosting the ThomaHawk podcast with ex-Browns teammate Joe Thomas, serving as one of the hosts on ESPN’s growing SportsCenter on Snapchat brand, and co-hosting the Operation Football Sunday ESPN Radio show with Randy Scott and Field Yates. Now, Hawkins has signed a new deal with ESPN, and he’ll be expanding his role there, appearing on many of their other news, analysis and debate shows:
In addition to hosting the Monday and Tuesday morning editions of SportsCenter on Snapchat during the NFL season, Hawkins will continue to co-host Operation Football with Randy Scott and Field Yates on ESPN Radio on NFL Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. ET. Hawkins also will contribute to various ESPN shows, including NFL Live, SportsCenter, The Will Cain Show, First Take, and more.
“Hawk has a unique style that connects with sports fans in a genuine way,” said Glenn Jacobs, Vice President, Social Content/Original Digital Shows. “He has added to the success of SportsCenter on Snapchat and Operation Football, and we look forward to his continued contributions across our various platforms.”
Hawkins has an unconventional background relative to many former players turned analysts; he went undrafted out of the University of Toledo (despite playing both ways as a wide receiver and cornerback) and first worked as a volunteer assistant coach there, then as a scouting analyst for the Detroit Lions. Hawkins then competed on Michael Irvin’s 2009 4th and Long reality show on Spike, which gave football players a chance to earn a spot at the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp; former NFL and CFL player Jesse Holley won that (and went on to play for the Cowboys through 2011, then briefly played for the Patriots), but Hawkins finished as a runner-up (alongside Ahmaad Smith and Eddie Moten), and he wound up with the best NFL career of anyone on that show other than Irvin.
The CFL’s Montreal Alouettes signed Hawkins as a receiver ahead of the 2009 season, and he won back-to-back Grey Cups with them in 2009 and 2010 before heading to the NFL, where he played for the Rams (2011), Bengals (2011-13), Browns (2014-16) and Patriots (2017). Oh, and he has a master’s in sports management from Columbia, and comes from quite a football family; he’s the younger brother of former NFL DB Artrell Hawkins and the cousin of former NFL lineman Carlton Haselrig and legendary CFL receiver Geroy Simon.
This adds to the turnover we’ve seen with ESPN’s NFL analysts lately, with many of them let go in the April 2017 layoffs. Those layoffs saw the exit of everyone from Merril Hoge to Trent Dilfer to Jerome Bettis, and there’s a considerably smaller group of NFL analysts working there now. But using someone like Hawkins as a NFL analyst on various studio properties seems like a good fit in the new era of ESPN, where versatility is at a premium; yes, he can appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, First Take and so on, but he’s also already hosting SportsCenter on Snapchat and hosting radio on the weekends, so he’s bringing multiple skills to the table. We’ll see how he does with this expanded role.