Well, we finally have some certainty in regard to Desmond Bishop’s future with the Green Bay Packers.
After struggling to find any interest in the veteran linebacker on the trade market, the Packers released the seven year veteran at around noon PST. There was some talk about the possibility of the Packers restructuring Bishop’s contract to keep him with the team, but no such agreement between the player and club could be agreed upon.
Bishop, who missed the entire 2012 season following hamstring surgery in August, was made expendable by the play of Brad Jones in his absence. By all counts Jones exceeded expectations, and he’s been rewarded justly with an opportunity to prove it wasn’t a fluke with what used to be Bishop’s starting job next season. Having three quality starting interior linebackers in a 3-4 defense is a luxury the Packers simply could not justify, and with Jones, Bishop and A.J. Hawk all in tow, it’s a problem - sort of - that they weren’t too keen on having.
The cutting of Bishop will save the Packers nearly $4M against the cap this season, but will carry dead cap implications going as far as the 2014 season, when they will lose $800,000 against the cap.
Rumours are swirling - as they always do - wildly about where Bishop will land. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com thinks that either the Kansas City Chiefs or Oakland Raiders make sense as potential destinations; as do I. That being said, the veteran linebacker already has a meeting scheduled for today with the Packers divisional rivals in Minnesota, the Vikings. They make sense as a potential destination, based solely on their need for a starting caliber middle linebacker. Word out of OTA’s was that Erin Henderson, who had played as a will linebacker to this point in his career, was going to start in the mike spot, but they can avoid this positional switch if their meeting with Bishop is of the productive variety. Then again, Bishop isn’t exactly what I’d call the picture-perfect fit either. The Vikings employ a Tampa 2 version of the 4-3 defense, which is considerably different from the 3-4 scheme he’s been in his entire career in Green Bay.
With all this in mind and all the food for thought that this release provides, there is some serious hubris to be found in all this. Remember when Bishop saw himself as a contender for defensive player of the year? Yeah, not happening in Green Bay.