No Titans wide receiver in recent memory has had as lopsided of a comments-to-games active ratio as Lavelle Hawkins. Every training camp The Hawk garners praise from the players and press who see his improvement, then wows fans with a few preseason circus catches, only to go right back to the inactive list or the bench on Sundays. Each year Jeff Fisher and Mike Heimerdinger would soft-pedal comments about mental lapses and a perceived lack of focus that led them to keep the former 4th round pick grounded behind the likes of Justin McCariens, Justin Gage, Paul Williams and Brandon Jones.
Now we're hearing another reason The Hawk has been grounded, and this time Gramsey can't blame it on Fisher or Dinger...Cross-country airfares. I kid you not. Hawkins missed the recent full team-ish workouts at Father Ryan HIgh School because he couldn't afford a plane ticket from California to Nashville:
"I was actually on my way (from California)," Hawkins said. "But I was waiting on a ticket that a friend of mine was supposed to get, a buddy pass, and it didn’t come through. And the tickets were so high. I was trying to get a one-way ticket and it was like $450-something, and I was like, ‘No, I can’t do that.’ "
Now, I know the lack of workout checks is starting to take it's toll on these guys who haven't been making millions, but you can't splurge on a $500 ticket to get to what is, for all intents and purposes, your job? Really? Hawkins has been making around $300K-$400K for three years.
What really makes me shake my head at this is Lavelle is one of the rare Titans WR who can catch a pass consistently without catching a grand jury indictment these days. He's got to be hanging on by a thread after four years of not seeing the field, yet he can't scrounge up $500 to get to Nashville and workout with his new QBs.
Of course it's not like Hawkins has been sitting around all offseason while the owners and NFLPA* work hard to ruin the NFL. The Hawk has been working out at the University of California with Jag-offs Maurice Jones-Drew and Jason Hill. He's in town now, and plans on continuing to workout with his fellow teammates until early July. Hawkins also indicated that he'd be sure to return if the lockout continues and the players organize another unofficial workout outside the purview of the coaches.