When the Green Bay Packers re-signed Brad Jones and restructured the contract of A.J. Hawk this offseason, it became clear they intended to give the two inside linebackers significant roles this season.
And it also may have made Desmond Bishop expendable.
That appears to the case. The Packers may be about to release the seventh-year veteran who took over as a starter in 2010 but missed all of last season after he tore the hamstring tendon in his right leg during the preseason. ESPNMilwaukee.com was the first to report that the Packers will part ways with the 28-year-old if they can’t trade him or get him to restructure his deal.
A source told Press-Gazette Media on Tuesday night that barring injuries, the Packers plan to start Hawk and Jones this season.
Bishop appeared to be the odd man out after Jones re-signed with the Packers for three years and $11.75 million, including a $3 million signing bonus and Hawk agreed to take a pay cut but still received a $2.21 million guaranteed roster bonus this offseason.
Bishop, who is due to make $3.946 million this season as part of the contract extension he signed in 2011, was the subject of trade rumors during the draft weekend in April but said recently that no one from the organization ever told him he was on the trading block.
Bishop has not participated in the Packers’ offseason program because he has not been cleared by the team doctors to return from his hamstring tendon injury of last August. It needed to be surgically reattached.
Jones started the final 10 regular-season games plus both playoff games in Bishop’s spot, which was first filled by D.J. Smith, who blew out his knee in Week 6. Smith was released in April in the midst of his rehab.
Last month, Bishop said he expected to get his starting spot back once he was cleared to return.
“I mean, yeah, somebody’s got to fill in right now,” Bishop said during a break from OTAs last month. “It’s not like my job to say who plays and who doesn’t. All I can do is get healthy to my full potential and get back out there.”
Neither Bishop nor his agent, Blake Baratz, returned messages left this evening.