Fresh off Columbia graduation, Andrew Hawkins says he's signing with Patriots

Andrew Hawkins announced that he’s joining the New England Patriots. (AP)

It’s been quite a month for Andrew Hawkins. One week ago, the veteran receiver graduated from Columbia University with a master’s in sports management, earning a 4.0 GPA despite pursuing the degree while an active NFL player.

And on Wednesday, the 31-year old announced that he’s signed with the New England Patriots:

In the video, posted on Uninterrupted, the LeBron James-fronted multimedia site, Hawkins said he’s excited to join the “reigning football champions” and that New England’s program is top-notch. He said he passed up on deals that would have paid him significantly more, but he’s all about a chance to win right now.

And can you blame him? Hawkins spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns, a team that won a total of 11 games in that time. The Patriots won more than that just last season.

But he’s joining a deep receiver group: the 5-foot-7 slot player will be fighting for reps with Brandin Cooks, whom New England acquired from New Orleans earlier this year, as well as Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola, all experienced in the Patriots’ complex offensive system.

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“Nothing is for sure, I’ve got my work cut out for me; it’s an opportunity,” Hawkins said. “I’m excited to get there, get to work and hopefully I can be part of something special and be part of that Patriot legacy.”

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweeted that Hawkins turned down offers from four other teams to sign a one-year minimum with New England.