|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
Linebacker Desmond Bishop says he is "100 percent" healthy after tearing his hamstring last year and motivated by his release by the Green Bay Packers. His first free-agent visit will be with his former team's biggest rival -- the Minnesota Vikings.
Bishop injured his hamstring in the Packers' first preseason game last year and missed the entire 2012 season. He hadn't participated in any of Green Bay's organized team activities this offseason and also sat out the team's mandatory minicamp. But he maintained Monday his injury is healed.
"It's definitely a serious injury, but I definitely hit all the points I was supposed to hit as far as getting healthy. But the tear is 100 percent [healed]. I can do anything and everything," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Because Bishop is a vested veteran he does not have to go through the waiver process. He said he will make a visit to the Vikings on Tuesday. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier declined after minicamp practice Tuesday to confirm that Bishop was visiting with the team
"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, who will visit with Vikings again Wednesday and the Chiefs on Thursday, said he knows that being cut is part of life in the NFL but it still was a surprise and something that will motivate him going forward.
"There's something about being released that's definitely going to add another chip to my shoulders. It's motivation," he told ESPN Wisconsin. "It's nothing negative about this whole situation. I think it's all part of the plan, and I have to keep playing it out. I think it's going to be good. I think all that is going to help me reach my goal."
Before releasing Bishop, the Packers had three veteran inside linebackers set to earn a starter's salary this season, two of whom had their contracts written after Bishop's injury. Brad Jones, re-signed in March, will make at least $4.2 million this season. A.J. Hawk agreed to a restructured contract that will pay him $3.6 million. Bishop, meanwhile, was set to earn $3.96 million. Together, the trio counts $12.164 million against the 2013 salary cap.
ESPN Wisconsin had reported last week that Bishop's release was likely unless he agreed to restructure his contract or the Packers were able to find a trade partner.
Bishop, 28, had a career-high 115 tackles and five sacks in 2011 in just 13 games. He has 292 tackles, nine sacks, eight forced fumbles and an interception in 69 career games, all with the Packers.
Information from ESPN.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.