LB Desmond Bishop to meet with Vikings on Tuesday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings appear set to solve a needed spot with another player from their NFC North rivals.

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop, cut by Green Bay on Monday, will be visiting the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, according to a report from FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Paul Imig. Bishop, 28, was released by the Packers with two years and $6.98 million still left on his contract.

He told FOX Sports Wisconsin he has “a few” other visits lined up, but the trip to Minnesota will be his first for another team.

“In my heart, I think I’ll always be a Packer, even if I never play for the Packers again,” Bishop told FOX Sports Wisconsin. “Right now, it’s a little difficult, it’s a little weird thinking about dressing up in a different uniform. But, it is what it is.”

Bishop, who missed all of last season with a torn hamstring, told FOX Sports Wisconsin he is completely healed from the injury. Bishop was one of Green Bay’s top defensive players in 2011 when he led the team with 115 tackles, and added five sacks and two forced fumbles.

The Vikings open their three-day, mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and have a need at linebacker, where Erin Henderson is trying to make the move inside after Jasper Brinkley signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent.

If Henderson proved able to make the move inside — a move he’s been preparing for all offseason — Minnesota would be looking for veteran Marvin Mitchell or rookie Gerald Hodges to assume Henderson’s usual starting spot on the weak side. Tyrone McKenzie, Audie Cole and rookie Michael Mauti could also compete for a spot, with all three having more experience inside.

Bishop had a six-year run with Green Bay after being a sixth-round pick in 2007. Before missing last season, he had started for the Packers for two straight seasons. Green Bay has A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, who they signed to a three-year, $11.75 million contract this offseason, at inside linebacker and chose to release Bishop. There were also reports during the draft in April that the Packers were looking to trade Bishop.

The Vikings, of course, have picked up several former Packers in recent years, like Brett Favre, kicker Ryan Longwell, safety Darren Sharper and, also this offseason, receiver Greg Jennings. 

Unable to find a trade partner, the Packers released Bishop, who stressed to FOX Sports Wisconsin that he is completely recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered last August. Bishop, who has missed all of Green Bay’s offseason workouts and minicamp, said his absence wasn’t about his hamstring.

“I think it’s a big misconception going around about the reason I didn’t participate, but it wasn’t about my surgery,” Bishop said. “That’s 100 percent healed. That was my tendon. That’s healed. But what happened was I strained my hamstring; a slight strain on the inside. That is what held me out. That’s a couple-week injury with treatment. Getting that strong, that’s not even a factor anymore. It’s been several weeks where I’ve been running and working.

“If training camp was tomorrow, I’d be a full participant.”

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