The Green Bay Packers released veteran inside linebacker Desmond Bishop because they did not want to pay $3.464 million for a player who missed all of last season with a torn hamstring. Even though all signs point to Bishop being healthy enough to perform at a high level, the Packers decided it was better to go in a different direction. However, Green Bay keeping inside linebacker A.J. Hawk over Bishop is a huge mistake.
Bishop is beside himself after the team cut him. He loves the Packers so much and even went as far to say that he will always be a member of the green and gold.
“It’s kind of like you’re first love and how you never really quite get over your first love,” Bishop said, according to USA Today Sports. “In my heart, I’ll always be a Packer. I loved it there and I appreciate the opportunity the Packers gave me. I’m forever grateful. At the same time, I understand it’s a business. I’m still going to be me no matter where I go, so if somebody else wants my services, I’ll be happy to perform, and whatever other color or team I play for, that’s what I represent.”
Bishop recorded 103 total tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception in 15 games for Green Bay during the 2010 season. As the team went on their incredible playoff run, Bishop posted 26 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries as he helped lead the Packers to a win in Super Bowl XLV.
The soon-to-be 29-year-old followed up his stellar performance with a career-high 115 total tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles during the 2011 regular season. There is no question the Packers had a rising star on their hands, but that star faded when he got hurt in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers prior to the 2012 season.
Bishop has put up far better numbers than Hawk has over the past two seasons, and he is considered the better draft selection considering where he was picked. Bishop was selected in the sixth round (192nd overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft, whereas Hawk was the fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft. There is no question Hawk has underperformed considering where he was selected.
Even though Hawk restructured his contract to take a pay cut, I would still rather pay Bishop what he is owed to have a better product on the field. Granted, there is always the chance that he re-injures his hamstring, which is why Green Bay released him, but getting hurt is an occupational hazard that can happen to anyone at any time in the NFL.
The worst part about the entire ordeal is that Bishop will probably land with the Minnesota Vikings or a legitimate contender that could come back to haunt the Packers. Not to mention, if something were to happen to one of the team’s linebackers, or Brad Jones does not deliver, it will be too late for Green Bay to get back Bishop.