Well, it happened again.
Desmond Bishop, the fan favorite inside linebacker released by Green Bay a week ago has joined fellow ex-Packer Greg Jennings in Minnesota. Bishop visited the Vikings last Wednesday, but also received interest from the Chiefs, Giants, and Jaguars. Pro Football Talk broke the news this afternoon.
After spending the past few days weighing his options, Bishop agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal to become a Viking. ESPN's Ted Pelissero reports that with incentives, the contract could be worth as much as $2 million.
Demond Bishop agrees to one-year deal with vikings, per source with knowledge of situation.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 24, 2013
Minnesota entered the offseason with middle linebacker as one of its biggest holes. The Vikings passed up chances to draft a high quality replacement despite acquiring three first round selections in the 2013 draft. They also ignored free agency, which included Packers ILB Brad Jones. However, Vikings GM Rick Spielman wasted no time in expressing interest in Bishop, and perhaps that's why the former Packer elected to sign with Minnesota.
Last week, Kevin Seifert of ESPN's NFC North Blog openly wondered whether Bishop would be better suited as an outside linebacker in the Vikings 4-3 scheme. It appears that Seifert was onto something:
I'm told Desmond Bishop will compete at both middle and weak side linebacker. Should be interesting. #Vikings— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 24, 2013
Playing Bishop at outside linebacker makes some sense, as incumbent Erin Henderson profiles better in the middle than outside. Bishop, while not a particularly speedy player, is a capable pass rusher and end run defender who has proven capable in pass coverage. These traits suggest that Bishop could thrive as a 4-3 weak-side linebacker. Of course, this is predicated on Bishop's health, which appears to be the primary factor that led to his release from Green Bay.
Bishop is the latest ex-Packer to sign with Minnesota, a tradition that began with Darren Sharper in 2005 and which was continued by Ryan Longwell, Robert Ferguson, Javon Walker, Jennings, and most famously Brett Favre.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn
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