Packers News: Packers Officially Release LB Desmond Bishop

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Desmond Bishop is now a former member of the Green Bay Packers

The first signs of trouble emerged last week and now the Green Bay Packers have made it official.

The Packers today announced that they have released LB Desmond Bishop roughly a week after speculation began about his future with the team.   Bishop missed all of the 2012 season with a torn hamstring and many have speculated that this is the reason behind his release.  Bishop for his part, however, has insisted that he was healthy.

With Bishop’s departure, this leaves linebackers A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones as the likely starters at inside linebacker in Green Bay’s base 3-4 defense.  A healthy Bishop was anticipated to help a Packers defense that struggled at times last year and was thought to be the best inside linebacker on the team.

Bishop was a sixth round draft pick of the Packers in the 2007 NFL Draft.  He enjoyed several successful preseason games before finally getting his chance as a full-time starter when Nick Barnett went down with injury during the 2010 season.  Bishop’s play exceeded all expectations that year and became a fan favorite over the next several seasons.

He finishes his Packers career with 310 tackles  (224 solo), nine sacks, seven forced fumbles, an interception and 13 passes deflected.

Green Bay meanwhile frees up approximately $3.46 million in cap room as a result of releasing Bishop.  Bishop is not subject to waivers since he has been in the league for more than four years and immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Will the Minnesota Vikings come calling? Don’t be surprised if they do. Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette already tweeted that according to sources the Vikings very well could be Bishop’s first visit as a free agent.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com.

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  • Archie

    At least we have the great Hawk. And converted ILB, 7th round draft pick, Brad Jones. And then lots of no experience undrafted free agents and low draft picks behind them. This move makes no sense at all. Bishop deserved the chance to prove it on teh field that he was healthy. Thompsom doesn’t even issue a statement explaining why he is cutting one our best players in the prime of his career. I’d like to cut TT.

    • Stroh

      Who care what round they were drafted in? For gods sake, Bishop himself was a 6th round choice! Once he proved himself, he got on the field and stayed there. Jones proved himself as much as Bishop did in ’10 when Bishop got paid!

      Sucks he got hurt, but the Packers had to release him. He already had a setback related to the Hamstring. It only a matter of time till he ruptures it again and his career is over.

  • The 13ers

    Wow. I guess TT doesn’t know what he’s doing and you should be the GM!

    Don’t you believe he would do what’s best for the team? Don’t you think he’s smart enough to know?

    There has to be a reason. I heard the guy’s injury is career threatening, despite him stating he’s ‘110% ok’.

    It’s amazing how some fans seem to know what the best move is for GB and NOT the guy who’s in charge.

    I think he’s done pretty well so far.

    • Chad Toporski

      You took the words out of my mouth.

      I wish some people would start providing us with all the inside information from 1265 Lombardi Avenue, because they act like they know more about the situation than anyone else.

    • Wagszilla

      Cullen Jenkins was an older player with an injury history.

      How did that move work out for Ted?

      Your logic is fallacious (non-sequitur) and the rest is just plaintively dismissive and condescending. We better close the comments section permanently! God forbid anyone have an opinion!

      • Oppy

        Cullen didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Philly

        • Wagszilla

          Set the world on fire? No but no one was expecting him to.

          And Jenkins still had very respectable numbers and made a good impact on the field, this when the defense was coached by a guy with no experience.

          The point is, his departure hurt the Packers more than it helped them. Neal was not a comparable replacement, Ted made a calculated gamble and it failed miserably. The pass rush was non-existent in 2011 and less than stellar in 2012.

          GMs aren’t infallible. They make mistakes. Let’s hope he didn’t make one with Bishop.

          • Stroh

            No body is saying Thompson is infallible, but what happened to Jenkins this year? He was much worse and ended up getting released! I would say that qualifies as making the right decision on Jenkins. If we signed him for what he wanted from the Packers and they had to release him just like Philly did, we would have a ton of dead money and you would be complaining about that!

          • Chad Toporski

            “GMs aren’t infallible. They make mistakes. Let’s hope he didn’t make one with Bishop.”

            Those are the kind of opinions I don’t have a problem with. It would be a lie to say I’m not skeptical with this move, but getting so venomous towards Thompson without all the information at hand and with things yet to be seen seems a little foolish to me.

  • Sven

    I have faith that the coaching staff feels secure with the players on the roster, or very sure that Bishop no longer had the abilty to bring it. It is strange though, he was recently talking about being Defensive Player of the Year, and now this.

    There is a lot we don’t know. Packers clearly didn’t rush into it as we have been hearing about this for over a week now.

    • PatMc

      And Donald Driver says he will be waiting for a phone call from TT this year! 3.5 million reasons why Bishop is gone. The extra reason that he hasn’t been on the field since 2011 and is close to 30 y/o. Not likely to be DPOY.

    • steve cheez

      Yeah, and T-Buck was talking about being the best athlete since Jim Thorpe.

  • Savage57

    I am bumming big time. Not over Dez Bishop, but over the cat comes ’round here with the handle ‘BishPlease’. I am going to miss that particular play on words a whole bunch.

    I am not worried about the ILB play. We still have AJ Hawk. He gives announcers something to talk about.

  • BartyS

    As long as Hawk is manning the middle, who cares?

    It is not like Bishop was ever the blitzer, thumper, aggressive playmaker AJ is. Hawk has been at LB for 7 years and he has always been an outstanding player and earned every one of the $40M plus he has been paid.

  • brian

    Breaking news! The Vikings signed a new ILB.

    • Lucas

      Why don’t they learn? Our leftovers have gotten them nada.

  • SDPackfan

    Well so long Desmond thanks for the memories.

    You were twice the player Hawk is at 1/2 the price.

    • Stroh

      He signed a contract that paid him fairly. He has nothing to complain about! He signed his contract and now he’s released from that contract. He was a better player, no doubt. But he did sign the contract. Just like Hawk recently took a pay cut.

  • Slim11

    Don’t like this move. I thought a Bishop-Jones pairing on the inside was worth looking at.

  • GBPDAN

    If BISHOP is able to return to his previous form, or close to it, this decision makes no sense at all because he was worth the money he was being paid. If this injury is going to be problematic in the future, then it’s a wise move. Only time will tell. Either way, its frustrating! I was really hoping Dez was coming back.

  • Wagszilla

    I’m disappointed in the move but I’m not going to cry over cut players.

    Terrell Manning seems to be an able replacement even if it’ll take him some time to figure everything out. Let’s hope he has the smarts that Bishop had.

    We’ll see how this works out.

  • bobalou13

    Wondering how much of this also may have to do with the possible emergence of Terrell Manning. I expected big things from him last year and now is supposed to be completely healthy. Didn’t TT trade several picks to move up to get him, if I recall? He could be a factor in this.

    • Stroh

      Thompson traded 3 picks to get Manning! A 6th and 2 7th’s to move into the 5th. Thompson doesn’t do that unless he covets that player at that point in the draft. Not unlike how he traded 3 picks for Matthews. Manning has the ability to be every bit as good or better than Bishop. I’ve been a big Manning fan and hoped we would draft him. He’s gonna be a terrific player IMO!

  • Oppy

    I really think it’s all about long-term health impact.

    I don’t necessarily think his hammy is going to explode, however, think of how often Clay Matthews is sidelined with hamstring complications..

    Hamstrings can become chronic, nagging issues in a hurry. Bishop had a complete tear. By the way, Bishop admitted that the reason he wasn’t on the field for OTAs and such was due to a deep hamstring sprain that set him back “a couple of weeks”. Oh, he’s quick to say it wasn’t the tendon.. But don’t you think one might be related to the other?

    Packers were concerned with paying a guy starting money who they fear is going to be sidelined with chronic hamstring issues. That’s why they were attempting to restructure- I’ll guess they were attempting to put more money in a game-day roster type fashion, to make sure they were only paying Bishop for active roster time, instead of cold-tub time.

    BTW, Bishop said it’s still possible he ends up resigning with the Pack if the market out there doesn’t offer good enough compensation. He also said he understands why the Packers made this move, and called it “smart”.

    • Chad Toporski

      Damn you and your logic, Oppy!

      *shakes fist*

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      Oppy, do you have a link to Bishop’s reaction to his release? I’d like to read his take on the matter.

      • Oppy

        Here you go, Thomas.

        http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/packers-release-inside-linebacker-bishop-b9935912z1-211929511.html

        Here’s one of his quotes:

        “You have a player coming off an injury and you don’t know how he’s going to do,” Bishop said. “Then you have (Jones) who had a really good year, so it kind of just made sense from a business standpoint when you take out all the emotion that could cloud your judgment.

        “It’s a smart thing to do. It’s understandable.”

        also,

        There also was the injury. While Bishop assured the hamstring tendon tear suffered in last year’s preseason opener at San Diego is fully healed, he did have a muscle strain on the inside of the hamstring that sidelined him through organized team activities and minicamp. Bishop admitted he probably tried to run and cut prematurely, saying, “that wasn’t the smartest thing to do.”

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          When I first read that article, I was pretty shocked at how rational Bishop was about it. I don’t think I’d take it that well…

  • Razer

    After the signing of Rodgers and Matthews, we need to get use to these types of moves. It is one of many tough decisions that will follow the big money signings. TT and company know his injury and know their pool of talent so I expect Manning or others to step up.

    I can see us putting an ILB as a priority in next year’s draft.

    • Batavia Greg

      As a short-term alternative, TT could sign Takeo Spikes “on the cheap.”

      • Lucas

        I think I’d be okay with that under two conditions: that he would be “on the cheap” and willing to be a backup. My guess is that neither one is even close to likely.

  • PatMc

    Any player not being able to get “ON THE FIELD” for OTA’s needs to understand that TT will put the best 90 players (that fit the CAP) on the field for camp (pre-season). TT and staff evaluated the situation and in them I trust.

    Next man(ning) up!

  • http://PigskinPaul.com Pigskin Paul

    Didn’t you just know that some LB head was on the block when they gace JONESX some fairly big bucks?! I didn’t think both SMITH & BISHOP would B gone, but I am sure the PACK still finds that paying injured players is a heinous practice. Dead Money is a very bad thing in Green Bay. As MIKE Mc says you have to be available.
    Pigskin Paul