Desmond Bishop, Vikings strike 1-year deal
The 29-year-old Bishop hit the open market after being released by the Packers last week. Both sides could not reportedly agree on a restructured contract that would reduce Bishop’s base salary of $3.464 million in 2013. Bishop had previously signed to a four-year, $19 million extension with the Packers in January 2011.
The Vikings were first on Bishop’s job search list as he worked out for the team the very next day after his release by the Packers on June 19. Bishop followed that up with a visit to the Kansas City Chiefs over the weekend. The Giants, Jaguars and 49ers had also been named as teams interested in gaining his services. In the end, Bishop opted for the Vikings, joining a list of former Packers who all landed in Minnesota later in their careers. Wide receiver Greg Jennings also signed with the Vikings earlier this offseason, ending a seven-year stint in Green Bay.
Originally a sixth-round pick out of California in the 2007 NFL draft, Bishop spent his entire career up to this point with the Packers. He slowly worked his way into the starting lineup in 2010 and played a key role in the team’s run to a Super Bowl title that season. By 2011, Bishop had established himself as one of the better linebackers in the league, finishing that year with 115 tackles and five sacks. Bishop started 25 combined games for the Packers over the 2010 and 2011 seasons. However, he missed the Packers’ entire 2012 season after suffering a hamstring injury against the San Diego Chargers in the preseason opener.
Bishop had been limited during the Packers’ OTAs and minicamps, but he is fully expected to be ready for Vikings’ training camp. The seventh-year pro is projected to be in the mix for Packers’ three starting linebacker jobs this offseason. According to multiple reports, Bishop is expected to compete at both middle and weakside linebacker during training camp. The Vikings had been transitioning weakside linebacker Erin Henderson to the middle, but those plans could change now following the addition of Bishop to the offseason roster. Otherwise, he could play at Henderson’s former position on the outside. A lineup of Chad Greenway (strong side linebacker), Bishop and Henderson together on the field could be in the makings here.