I don't think Mike McCarthy said anything surprising about the projected starting inside linebackers. Right now, LB A.J. Hawk and LB Desmond Bishop would start for the Green Bay Packers because that's how they ended the season. They have four players who are being paid like starters for two linebacker positions, but McCarthy usually avoids talking about player contracts. All four players are on the roster, he knows who finished the season as the starters, and he knows he has some options.
What I found really interesting was this quote: "We have to see how [Barnett] comes off the wrist," McCarthy said. "Same thing with Chillar. That’s his third shoulder surgery. You know how these things go. I'm glad we aren’t playing this week. The season we had, I spent too much time with the doctors."
I don't expect LB Nick Barnett's wrist injury is a long-term concern. For example, Bears LB Brian Urlacher came back fine from a similar season-ending wrist injury in 2009. But I didn't realize that it was LB Brandon Chillar's third shoulder surgery. The season's a long way off, but I can understand why McCarthy wasn't going to guarantee his return.
While it doesn't hurt to explore trade offers, there is no need to sell low or make a quick decision on Barnett. The situation could change between now and the start of next season, and they should keep their options open as long as possible.