Packers LB Desmond Bishop Near Front Of Contract Extension Line

Since replacing an injured Nick Barnett in the starting lineup, Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Desmond Bishop has posted 45 tackles, two quarterback sacks, and returned the first interception of his NFL career 32 yards for a touchdown.

Bishop's production pushes him to the front of the line for a contract extension, Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.

"There’s been preliminary talks, and we’ve kept the lines of communication open," Bishop’s agent, Blake Baratz, told the Press-Gazette. "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."

Bishop is currently earning a $550,000 base salary in the final season of his four-year, $1.759 million rookie contract. Due to the 30% rule governing contract extensions in the uncapped season, the most Bishop's future salaries could increase in a contract extension signed this season is $138,000, 30% of his $460,000 base salary from 2009.

This limitation would require the Packers to dole out a large signing bonus to lock Bishop up for the long-term. With restricted free agent cornerback Tramon Williams a higher priority, an in-season extension for Bishop is unlikely.

The Packers will also need to make a contractual decision on inside linebacker A.J. Hawk, the team's first-round pick in 2006 and current leader in tackles (68). Hawk is currently scheduled to earn a $10 million base salary in 2011, which will become guaranteed if he's on the roster at the start of the league year--whenever that may be.

It's possible that the Packers' front office could release Hawk before that money becomes guaranteed, or use it to lock up both inside linebackers for the long-term.

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PackersThad's picture

November 20, 2010 at 06:39 pm

You know who won't be happy to here this? Tramon Williams and Cullen Jenkins!!! C'mon Pack!

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