Today, the Green Bay Packers released veteran Middle Linebacker Desmond Bishop. It was made public that the Packers were not willing to pay him the salary that he was due for this season when they were attempting to trade him around draft time this year. The former sixth round draft pick was scheduled to make $3.464 million this year as a part of his four year, $19 million contract extension that he signed in 2011. Bishop claims that the team never approached him about a salary reduction prior to his release.
Bishop is coming off a severe injury that left him on the sidelines all of last season. He tore his hamstring tendon in the preseason opener last year and has been rehabilitating that injury to be prepared for this season. Bishop claims to be healthy now, and that claim will be tested by the Minnesota Vikings when they bring him in for a workout.
Bishop has never been the type of player to need motivating factors to get fired up, but the Packers seem to have lit a fire under the young player. Here are some excerpts from his conversation with ESPNWisconsin.com’s Jason Wilde:
“This is definitely a motivating factor. For several reasons, moreso I think than anything in my entire career. Just from the standpoint of actually being cut. You figure it’s going to happen to everybody eventually at some point in their career, but I felt like I was the type pf player who can go out on their own time.”
“There’s something about being released that’s definitely going to add another chip to my shoulders. It’s motivation. It’s nothing negative about this whole situation. I think it’s all part of the plan, and I have to keep playing it out. I think it’s going to be good. I think all that is going to help me reach my goal.”
“If you had to go in a dark alley, I’d be one of the guys you’d take with you because you knew what you were going to get. At the same time, I feel like I haven’t done enough – as a Packer or as a football player. I feel like I have a lot more potential to fulfill. That’s my next goal, wherever it is. I still feel I can do a lot of great things.”
Don’t be surprised if Desmond Bishop’s visit to Minnesota ends up as a permanent stay. This is a match made in heaven for this player and team. The Vikings are currently in the middle of an open competition for the starting Middle Linebacker position and could use a veteran like Bishop to help anchor this young team. Meanwhile, Desmond Bishop gets a starting job and gets to play against his former team at least two times a year.