GREEN BAY – Desmond Bishop’s time with the Green Bay Packers is apparently over.
According to an NFL source, barring an unlikely contract restructure or trade, the Packers will be parting ways with Bishop, who missed all of last season with a ruptured hamstring tendon suffered in the Aug. 9 preseason opener at San Diego.
Bishop did not participate in any of the team’s organized team activity practices, including Tuesday’s final open practice, or the mandatory minicamp last week. The Packers have three OTA practices remaining but they are all closed to the public and media.
Bishop did not respond to a Twitter direct message and his agent, Blake Baratz, did not respond to an iMessage.
The Packers also released inside linebacker D.J. Smith, who replaced Bishop in the starting lineup after Bishop’s injury against the Chargers, earlier this offseason. The team re-signed Brad Jones, who took over after Smith went down on Oct. 14 with a season-ending knee injury, to a three-year, $11.75 million contract in March.
Based on interviews during OTAs, Bishop wasn’t expecting to be released, even after the NFL Network reported during the draft that the Packers were shopping him.
“I mean, yeah, somebody’s got to fill in right now. It’s not like my job to say who plays and who doesn’t,” Bishop said after the team’s open OTA practice on May 28. “All I can do is get healthy to (get back to) my full potential and get back out there.
“Of course, every person should feel like they should play. If you didn’t have that mindset, you wouldn’t be here. It is what it is.”
Bishop signed a four-year, $19 million extension in January 2011. According to the NFL Players Association database, his 2013 base salary was scheduled to be $3.464 million.
Bishop was arguably the team’s best defensive player in 2011, registering 115 tackles and five sacks along with forcing two more fumbles in 13 games. He’ll only turn 29 in July, but given the money the team paid Jones and the fact that A.J. Hawk got more than $2 million guaranteed for 2013 in exchange for taking a pay cut, it was no surprise that those two were the starters in the team’s base “Okie” defense during all open offseason practices.
Bishop said on May 28 that his hamstring tendon is “100 percent” healed and that he is “really close” to returning.
“I’m ready, I feel good, but it’s better to be on the cautious side than strain it again and be down another five weeks,” Bishop said. “So we’re just being cautious.”
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