Frazier plays Vikings' interest in Bishop coy

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm •  Published: June 18, 2013

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Soon after the Green Bay Packers released Desmond Bishop, the seventh-year veteran linebacker was telling Wisconsin reporters about his next step.

Bishop said he's visiting the Minnesota Vikings, the natural move for so many former Packers players looking for a new team and an opportunity to prove their ex-employer wrong.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier declined after minicamp practice Tuesday to confirm that Bishop was visiting with the team, but Bishop told several media outlets Monday he planned to speak with the Vikings in Minnesota.

"I wouldn't want to verify any reports," Frazier said, adding: "We'll be bringing in guys to work out all the time. At whatever position we bring guys in, it's usually not a reflection of that position. It is just ongoing. We're always trying to have a database and do whatever we can to help our football team."

Bishop became a starter at inside linebacker for the Packers in 2010, his breakout season. He didn't play at all last year after tearing his hamstring in a preseason game. Bishop thrived once the Packers switched to a 3-4 defense, and the Vikings use a 4-3 scheme, meaning more pass-coverage responsibilities for their middle linebacker.

But their current starter at that critical position is Erin Henderson, who has played the weak-side spot the last two years. Moving Henderson to the middle would leave either rookie Gerald Hodges, a fourth-round draft pick from Penn State, or career backup Marvin Mitchell as unproven starters at Henderson's previous position.

"I'm playing the 'Mike,'" Henderson said flatly, when asked if he's set on being the middle linebacker.

Pressed further about his feelings on the Bishop situation after practice Tuesday, Henderson said, "That's a lot of ifs. I don't really want to think about it that way. I have a chance to play 'Mike' now. I don't see why I would let it slip out of my hands or let it go any other way."