The Green Bay Packers are reportedly set to part ways with inside linebacker Desmond Bishop, who is still on the mend after missing the entire 2012 season with a torn hamstring.
An NFL source told Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee that the Packers will release Bishop unless a contract restructure or trade can be worked out. Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was told that the decision is based more on numbers than injury.
Bishop, 28, ruptured his hamstring during the Packers first preseason game August 9. He has missed the entire offseason program while waiting on medical clearance from the Packers staff, despite claiming to be "110 percent" last month.
Even without Bishop, the Packers have created adequate depth at the position.
In March, the Packers restructured the deal of A.J. Hawk and re-signed unrestricted free agent Brad Jones. Filling in for Bishop last season, Jones started the final 10 games of 2012 and earned himself a three-year, $11.75 million deal during free agency. After Hawk and Jones, the Packers depth chart at inside linebacker would be filled out by Rob Francois (who was also re-signed in March), 2012 fifth-round pick Terrell Manning, Jamari Lattimore and 2013 seventh-round pick Sam Barrington.
Jones was given starter's money, and the coaching staff remains high on Manning, who came on strong late last season after suffering through a training camp illness. Hawk and Jones will be expected to start in the base defense.
Financially, the Packers could save roughly $7.7 million in cap room over the next two seasons by releasing Bishop.
A sixth-round pick in 2007, Bishop took over as the Packers starting inside linebacker in 2010 and earned himself a four-year, $19 million deal following Green Bay's win in Super Bowl XLV.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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