Packers Daily Links: Packers Talk Extension With Bishop

The Packers are negotiating with linebacker Desmond Bishop about a possible future contract. That and more in today's Daily Links...

With Tramon Williams now under contract for the next several years, attention now turns to linebacker Desmond Bishop. "With possible budgetary and cash-flow concerns because of [previous] deals, plus the uncertainty of salary-cap rules until there’s a new collective bargaining agreement, the Packers will have a harder time finishing an extension with Bishop or anyone else," reports Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "They’ve had meaningful talks with Bishop’s representative in recent weeks but are not close to agreement." Bishop is a big-time priority for the Packers. With injuries to Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar and A.J. Hawk's contract status, Bishop is the only sure thing at inside linebacker. I have a hard time seeing a deal getting done in-season yet, but he should be priority No. 1 in the offseason.

As for Tramon Williams, Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin has more on the cornerback's feel-good story. "There’s no denying that Williams’ rags-to-riches – the riches being the four-year, $33 million contract extension he recently signed – story is Hollywood material. Even tough-guy coach Mike McCarthy would agree with that," writes Wilde. If Williams keeps playing like he's been playing, his extension will be worth every penny and could even be considered a bargain.

It's remarkable that Williams and others in the Green Bay secondary were unheralded coming out of college. "The NFL draft came and went in 2005, and Atari Bigby never heard his name called," writes Rob Reischel of Packer Report (subscription required). "The same thing happened to Tramon Williams in 2006 and Sam Shields in April." Add Jarrett Bush to the undrafted list as well. And then consider Charlie Peprah was drafted but released several times in the NFL.

Speaking of unheralded players, the linebacker corps is filled with them, mostly because of the injury situation in Green Bay. "General Manager Ted Thompson replaced [Brandon Chillar] on the roster with [Robert] Francois, who on Wednesday was promoted from the practice squad for his second stint on the roster this season," writes Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette. "But on the depth chart, the Packers moved [Matt] Wilhelm to Chillar’s old spot as the “Mike” inside linebacker behind Bishop. Wilhelm was signed off the street on Oct. 26 after another backup linebacker, Brady Poppinga, was lost for the season because of a knee injury. Wilhelm had been backing up 'Buck' inside linebacker A.J. Hawk until this week." It's a scary proposition that if Clay Matthews got injured, Eric Walden would become a starting linebacker.

The cold weather is a home-field advantage to the Packers, but it goes beyond the weather for the West Coast San Francisco 49ers. “Coming here in December is not easy,” Matt Wilhelm told Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette. “Playing at Lambeau is not easy. I know having played on the West Coast 95 percent of my career, coming to the Central time zone to play at noon is tough, and the weather we just saw outside, it’s difficult for guys who are used to practicing outside (in good weather) every day of the week.” Wilhelm played in both San Diego and San Francisco prior to becoming a Packer.

Safety Nick Collins didn't participate in Wednesday's practice because of a shoulder injury, which doesn't appear serious, but it left the Packers in a precarious situation. "Safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Anthony Smith (ankle) did not practice, leaving only Charlie Peprah and Jarrett Bush to play the position," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Cornerback Brandon Underwood filled in on a few snaps." Players should get healthier as the week goes on, but the development is good for Underwood, who just became a little more valuable to the Packers, which is good for him being so far down the depth chart.

The running game troubles of the Atlanta game are being extrapolated and applied to the upcoming San Francisco game by Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. "On Sunday when the Packers face the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has been far better against the run than it has been the pass, McCarthy will have to decide whether it's worth trying to get his stuck-in-mud running game operational again," writes Silverstein. The Packers can and will have success with the passing game, but having an effective ground game would, obviously, make things easier. Will that happen? Only time will tell.

Throwback uniforms will be worn by the Packers this weekend. "This marks the first time the Packers have worn an alternate jersey since their 2003 Thanksgiving game at Detroit, when they wore the 1967 team’s uniforms, which aren’t vastly different than the Packers’ usual attire," writes Jason Wilde. "The Packers wore 1939 jerseys on Thanksgiving 2001 in Detroit and wore jerseys from 1973 for four games in 1994 as part of the NFL’s 75th anniversary season celebration." Charles Woodson will reportedly be on the cover of the gameday program wearing the throwback "uni."

Increased production by James Jones and Jordy Nelson has been noted by Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "In the five games since Driver initially hurt his thigh Oct. 17 against Miami, Jones has 20 receptions for 325 yards and two touchdowns, and Nelson has 21 catches for 203 yards and one touchdown," writes D'Amato. As Driver gets healthier by the week, it bears watching whether this trend continues. It was suggested by Bob McGinn earlier this week that perhaps even Brett Swain should get increased production over Driver.

The recent stellar play of Aaron Rodgers is noticed by Mike Spofford of the Packers official website. "Over his last three games, Rodgers has completed better than 70 percent of his passes each contest, thrown eight touchdown passes with no interceptions, and posted QB ratings of 131.5 (vs. Dallas), 141.3 (at Minnesota) and 114.5 (at Atlanta)," writes Spofford at Packers.com. "He has now thrown 147 passes without an interception, just 12 passes shy of the longest streak of his career." Also noted in the article is how Rodgers is doing a better job of avoiding sacks and contributing to the running game.

Brett Favre said he's retiring after the 2010 season.

The Packers control their own playoff destiny writes "Jersey" Al Bracco.

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the Snow Bowl.

Former Packer Karl Swanke is profiled by Martin Hendricks of Packer Plus (subscription required).

Last weekend's football extravaganza is reviewed by Anita Stratton of Pocket Doppler.

The Packer Ranter remembers 1929.

Football is compared to ice fishing at Meat Packers Union.

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Comments (11)

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jay's picture

December 02, 2010 at 11:40 am

You gotta think the fact that the Pack is now turning to Bishop means that Jenkins will be passed over. Sad...I hope this doesn't affect his play for the rest of the season.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

December 02, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Jenkins has to continue to play at the highest level possible to get paid as much as possible, whether it's from the Packers or not. Just because the Packers might not be the ones that pay him, doesn't mean he can sulk. He's auditioning for every team in the league right now.

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 02, 2010 at 07:19 pm

I still remember TT's quote about big D-linemen, "The good Lord only made so many of them." I think it was in defense of drafting Harrel. It would be a shame if he abandons that philosophy and lets Jenkins walk.

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thepretzelhead's picture

December 03, 2010 at 12:08 am

Agreed. Guys like Jenkins make guys like WIlliams.

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hyperRevue's picture

December 02, 2010 at 11:43 am

I love that a guy who only was able to get on the field because of an injury is now being described as the "only sure thing."

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Ruppert's picture

December 02, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Jarrett Bush was undrafted?! Oh, the injustice....

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Jmac34's picture

December 02, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Yeah somehow I don't think teams are too upset they didn't draft Buch

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Jmac34's picture

December 02, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Thats supposed to be Bush

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 02, 2010 at 07:13 pm

"It was suggested by Bob McGinn earlier this week that perhaps even Brett Swain should get increased production over Driver." A few weeks ago I threw together a list of aging veterans in order of expendibility. Some called me crazy for even putting together a list, and said, "hey those guys have contracts." Green Bay is the new San Francisco - no country for old men. And contracts in the NFL are not guaranteed. Swain deserves more looks. I'd like to see him get them over the frustratingly inconsistent James Jones. But if McGinn's view is followed it will get harder to see DD coming back.

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davyjones's picture

December 02, 2010 at 07:53 pm

Ok, a little off topic but after looking at the games lined up this weekend I am confused. Do I want Atlanta to win or Tampa Bay?
not sure what helps Pack.

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thepretzelhead's picture

December 03, 2010 at 12:08 am

The Lions winning.

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