Is that because of his nearly $5 million cap hit this year and next? His recurring health woes? A tingling feeling deep inside Ted Thompson’s gut that Terrell Manning is ready to contribute?
My guess is, yes – to all of the above.
Thompson and the Packers are well known for taking good care of the salary cap, so it’s a no-brainer that this is a key reason the team reportedly shopped Bishop during the draft.They re-signed Brad Jones, who earned his shot at starting last season while filling in for Bishop and the now-departed D.J. Smith, and A.J. Hawk is still there to run the show on the inside.
My feeling is that the Packers probably want to restructure and Bishop doesn’t want to. He claims he is healthy, yet hasn’t participated in OTAs. Is there something he isn’t telling the club about his recovery from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for all of 2012? Or is he just resisting the salary restructuring he knows he’ll be asked for? Or perhaps he really does believe he’ll be the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year due to some recently-acquired super powers, and he can’t reveal his alter-identity as Capt. SuperBacker without serious risk.
Because, honestly, if a nuclear poodle bit him and gave him super-human run-stopping ability, I wish he’d say so. It might make all the difference in keeping him in Green Bay.
Sadly, that’s probably not it. My guess is that it goes back to Thompson’s protection of the budget and expectation that it is Manning’s time to step up. And let’s face it, if Robert Francois can continue to provide usable depth and 2013 seventh-round pick is even worthy of practice-squad consideration, Thompson won’t want to pay Bishop, Hawk and Jones starter money.
From the reports circulating now, nothing short of Bishop showing up in Thompson’s office before training camp begins wearing a cape and a big green “GB” on his chest will likely keep the linebacker around another season.