Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop finally got his chance to start and he’s making the most of it.
Bishop has outperformed Nick Barnett, who he replaced in the starting lineup after Barnett’s season-ending wrist injury, by a wide margin.
So far this season, Bishop has 54 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
It looks like that performance is going to net Bishop a contract extension, too.
“There’s been preliminary talks, and we’ve kept the lines of communication open,” Bishop’s agent, Blake Baratz, said. “It’s kind of an ever-changing landscape, but they’ve made it clear they want him back, and Desmond would like to be back. Each week is kind of an audition for him, and they probably feel more and more comfortable.”
The Packers have also made a contract offer to cornerback Tramon Williams, who is playing on a one-year deal. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins, whose contract expires after the season, has also been clamoring for a new deal, but it appears Bishop is now the Packers second priority, after Williams.
Complicating the situation is the lack of a collective bargaining agreement after March. Bishop made $460,000 last season and the current CBA says a player cannot get a raise greater than 30 percent.
In other words, if the Packers extend Bishop soon, expect him to receive a fairly substantial signing bonus and lower base salaries.
“I think the Packers really value me, and they’ve talked a little bit about keeping me here,” Bishop said. “Now we’ve just got to figure out all the nuts and bolts of it.”