Chessmaster Ted Moves Bishop

I could never run a football team. I know, you're stunned by this admission. But I couldn't do what Ted Thompson does. If I found myself with three highly paid inside linebackers, I'd find my way to keep a guy like Desmond Bishop. That's not how TT rolls.

Granted, he has some built-in advantages. For example, he talks regularly with the team's doctors, trainers and position coaches. I don't know how serious Bishop's hamstring injury is and what they odds of recurrence are. That may have factored into Thompson's decision to part ways with the hard-hitting inside linebacker.

When the team restuructured AJ Hawk's deal and then signed Brad Jones to a big contract, the writing was on the wall. Armed with a handful of young backups, Thompson decided to part ways with Bishop now and remove his hefty cap number.

As a Packer fan, it stings. We think of Bishop as the guy who bided his time behind Nick Barnett, waiting for an opportunity. When it came, he made Barnett expendable. Brad Jones played the part of Bishop this time around. At 100%, Bishop is a better player than both Hawk and Jones. The problem is, he's not 100%. Maybe he will be come August, maybe he won't be. Thompson figures that between Francois, Lattimore and Manning one guy will emerge as a capable backup--at a fraction of Bishop's pricetag.

Does it suck for Bishop? Of course, but that's the way in today's NFL. We fans can only thank Bishop for his years of service and hope he is able to get back to his old self, as long as it's not in a Purple uniform. Naturally, the Vikings were the first team to bring him in for a look. Paying Packer castoffs has become a rite of spring (and summer). His agent, Blake Baratz, is a Twin Cities guy who is not on the Packers' Christmas card list. You can bet he'd love to show the Pack the error of their ways within the division.

But as I write this, reports have surfaced that the Chiefs and Jaguars will bring him in as well. Maybe the Vikes will go the Childress route and handcuff him to the radiator in his hotel room and not let him escape till he signs.

That worked out well the last time.


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