If the reports are true, another member of the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl XLV-winning team is on his way out of Titletown.
Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee tweeted Tuesday evening that, barring a trade or a restructured deal, that the Packers will likely be parting ways with ILB Desmond Bishop. It’s not clear what is propelling Green Bay to release Bishop, but Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweeted that the release is part of a “numbers game.”
Packer Nation immediately went into an uproar, judging by fans’ reactions on Twitter. Cheeseheads everywhere were stunned the Packers would release arguably their best inside linebacker. Their argument was that if Green Bay really wanted to become more tough and physical, especially on defense, cutting ties with Bishop sends the opposite signal.
It’s a valid point. The Packers were missing Bishop’s physical presence last year when he went down or the year after tearing his hamstring in the preseason. He’s also a fan favorite on defense and releasing him makes little sense to many of the Packer faithful.
That said, releasing Bishop may actually be a much better move than many think.
First is that he is still recovering from his hamstring tear. Bishop may say that he feels fine and is close to being all the way back physically, but the truth is a full tear can have a long term impact on a player’s career. Bishop, at 29, in theory should be at the prime of his career but thanks to the hamstring tear, there is a decent chance that his prime just got shorter.
Along with his recovery from injury, there is also Bishop’s cap hit to consider. His cap hit this season according to Spotrac is $4.76 million and it goes up to $4.82 million before Bishop would be an unrestricted free agent in 2015. Before his injury, he easily deserved every dollar. Now recovering from this injury while approaching his 30th birthday, the Packers apparently feel the money can be better spent elsewhere.