Raiders fans can breathe a little easier as well as being able to poke a little fun at their AFC West rivals as the Kansas City Chiefs will not be landing the services of former Super Bowl champion linebacker Desmond Bishop as the former Packer has decided to join the Minnesota Vikings.
Sources around the league this afternoon are confirming that Bishop has decided to sign a one year deal with the Vikings. Erin Henderson is currently the Vikings starting middle linebacker, but the move gives them the fourth linebacker that they were desperately seeking after failing to land one in the draft and initial free agency before minicamp season began.
Yet when the Packers cut Bishop and his three plus million dollar cap hit, they let a veteran linebacker their NFC North rivals needed fall right into their lap as the Vikes now have a motivated former champion who can play both on the inside and the outside to bolster their linebacking rotation as well as creating some competition between Bishop and Henderson that will likely boost the games of both players this season.
Bishop visited the Vikings first, leading many to believe that he was going to land in Minnesota. Still the Chiefs GM John Dorsey believed that his connections to Bishop from Green Bay would see him being able to woo the linebacker into coming into Arrowhead for 2013.
At the end of the day the Vikings winning season from last year and the chance at two (and potentially three if last season’s playoff game happens again) cracks at his former team in division play led Bishop to joining the Vikings.
Minnesota’s 4-3 defense and Henderson’s slot at middle linebacker will mean that Bishop will either have to win the starting job or adjust to a role of being the fourth linebacker, playing both on the outside and in the middle to give the Vikings a rested unit.
With Bishop’s versatility being the main motivator for the Vikings in signing the veteran despite missing 2012 on the IR it is likely we can see Bishop being bumped to the outside and a potential best case scenario linebacker core of Chad Greenway, Henderson and Bishop lining up in the middle of the defense this season.
Kansas City will be gutted as they are looking to take advantage of a wide open AFC West in 2013 and adding Bishop would have been a huge splash for a team that has already loaded up with new faces for this season.
With a long list of veteran players still up for grabs, expect the Chiefs to continue to throw their name into the hat for remaining free agents as the start of training camp gets nearer.