In a surprising, and somewhat controversial move, last week the Green Bay Packers cut middle linebacker Desmond Bishop. As disheartening as it is for Bishop to get cut by the Packers, especially after missing all of last season with an injury, it provides him with a great opportunity. Before his injury last season, Bishop was a star on the rise, and as long as he’s healthy he should be able to regain the form he had during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and continue to be a productive NFL linebacker.
He now has the chance to choose where he would like to play, and give whatever team he signs with a significant roster upgrade with training camp quickly approaching. Rumor has it that Bishop has narrowed his choices down to the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Giants. But which team should he choose? Let’s take a look at how he would fit into each of these three teams, as well as how each team fits Bishop.
Chiefs – If Bishop were to go to Kansas City, he would be the cherry on top of an already stacked corps of linebackers. The Chiefs may have only won two games last year, but they sent three linebackers to the Pro Bowl, all of whom return this season. Bishop would slot in right next to Derrick Johnson, as the Chief’s second inside linebacker. Bishop and Johnson could form a powerful tandem inside, while Justin Houston and Tamba Hali could be unleashed as ferocious pass rushers on the outside. Adding Bishop would undoubtedly give Kansas City the best group of linebackers in the NFL, if they don’t already. Of course, if he wants to win right away, Bishop will have to think twice about the Chiefs. After just two wins last year, there’s a lot of work to do in Kansas City to make the Chiefs competitive, and a near insurmountable distance between them and the Denver Broncos, the obvious favorite in the AFC West.
Vikings – The obvious benefit of going to Minnesota would be that Bishop would get to face Green Bay, the team that just cut him, twice a year. Revenge can be a great motivator, and after the manner in which he was let go, revenge could certainly be on Bishop’s mind. It also helps that the Vikings won 10 games last year, and aren’t too far from being able to compete with the Packers for the NFC North title. But a move to Minnesota could get complicated for Bishop, as he would have to adjust to a 4-3 scheme, and the team would have to decide between him and Erin Henderson who would play middle linebacker and who would play outside. There’s a chance he would have to make the switch to outside linebacker, and if Bishop has any trepidation about that switch he would have to weigh it against being able to stay in the NFC North and have a shot at taking down the team that just cut him.
Giants – Of the three teams he’s considering, the Giants probably need Bishop the most. New York was a mess at linebacker last year (actually, their entire defense was a mess), and they’ve spent the offseason trying to overhaul that position. Signing Bishop, especially at this stage in the offseason, would be an incredible addition for the Giants. He could step in right away, man the middle, and in theory be surrounded by capable pass rushers that can get to the quarterback. If the Bishop of 2010 and 2011 shows up in New York this season, it would change the look of the Giant’s defense and give them the kind of boost they need to bounce back in 2013 and once again become a Super Bowl contender. For Bishop, going to the Giants might be his best chance to play for a contender this season, and if the Giants do content, Bishop would be a big part of that.
Verdict – Bishop has three distinct choices. He can go to Kansas City and put the finishing touches on a superior group of linebackers, while hoping he can help turn the team completely around; he can go to Minnesota and help to topple the team that just cut him; or he can go to New York and be a key piece on a team that is no stranger to playing in Super Bowls.
For Bishop, going to the Giants is the smartest move to make. They need him the most, and if things fall right there’s a chance he could be playing deep into the postseason. Kansas City and Minnesota would be good fits too, and there may not be a wrong decision among the three candidates, but if Bishop’s ultimate goal is to win games and chase after another Super Bowl ring, then the best choice for him to make would be to sign with the Giants.