The rumors that the Green Bay Packers were going to release injured ILB Desmond Bishop were true. He has been officially released from the Packers and is now on the Waiver Wire, if he does not get claimed he will become an unrestricted free agent. It is unlikely that he will get claimed because that would also mean that they would be agreeing to pay his salary for this year of $3.464M.
The Oakland Raiders are immediately a team of interest to watch for Bishop's next place of employment due to General Manager Reggie McKenzie's connections to the Green Bay organization. Another AFC West team that is mentioned as a potential landing spot for Bishop though is Kansas City who also have their GM John Dorsey plucked from the Packers front office.
The Chiefs are the favorites to land his services due to their employment of the 3-4 defense that Bishop is said to fit better in but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't also fit the Raiders defense. Oakland has said that they wish to implement a multi-scheme defense and adding Desmond would give them more versatility in the alignments that they could use.
The linebacker position has been by far the most active in Oakland this off-season as they have revamped practically the entire crew, but they could still make space for a player as talented as Bishop. They definitely have plenty of cap room now that it is after June 1st and Michael Huff's contract has officially come off of the books.
He was injured early in the 2012 season with a hamstring injury that put him on IR but he says he is 100% back from that and now just has some little nicks and knacks that he has to work through before getting back on the field. He has vowed that he will be at 110% by the time training camp starts in a few weeks from now.
Desmond would provide a player that would be great depth at the MLB position behind Roach and he would also be the type of run stopping linebacker that the Raiders have desperately needed for years. He is an extremely confident player that would bring a similar swagger with him as the one that Sio Moore has shown since becoming the Raiders 3rd round draft pick this year. That type of confidence and swagger fits right in with Raiders history and would be a welcome addition to this defense.
Tyler Dunn of the Milwaukee Journal is the one who originally broke the news of Bishop's release on Twitter:
The #Packers will officially release ILB Desmond Bishop today, according to a source. More coming.— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) June 17, 2013
This Tweet was later followed by Desmond himself sending well wishes to the Packers and thanking them for his time with the team:
So much fun, so many memories & friendships forged in Green Bay. Ups & downs, wins & losses! Even a XLV championship. Forever grateful #Pack— Desmond Bishop (@Desbishop55) June 17, 2013
Desmond was pegged as the replacement to the Packers former MLB Nick Barnett (who also is a free agent currently) and was a two year starter for Green Bay. In those two years of starting he had 218 tackles, 8 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. He is a vicious hitter though a little bit slower of a runner which is why he is believed to be a better fit in a 3-4 system.
Bishop knows a current Raider player very well in Charles Woodson. Desmond has not known a year in his career where he did not have Woodson on his team and that could help in his adjustment to the Raiders defense. He is a player that brings the type of swagger that Raiders fans love and would be a very welcome addition to this Oakland team.
I am a resident of Green Bay and can vouch that my neighbors always had good things to say about Desmond. He is a respected player, although one that tends to talk a lot. That talking isn't going to scare off Raiders fans by any means. He is a talented player and one that would absolutely benefit Oakland if they were to sign him to a contract.