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Packers & Desmond Bishop Talking Contract Extension

November 20, 2010

Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that the Green Bay Packers and fourth-year linebacker Desmond Bishop are discussing a contract extension. According to Bishop’s agent, Blake Baratz, the Packers are looking to bring the 26-year-old inside linebacker back next season and beyond.

“There’s been preliminary talks, and we’ve kept the lines of communication open,” said Baratz. “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.”

Demovsky points out that the pending NFL labor situation is making the contract negotiations more difficult.

“Complicating the negotiations are the uncertainty over the collective bargaining agreement and the 30 percent rule that says a player’s new deal on a contract extension or renegotiation cannot be increased by more than 30 percent of the 2009 base salary. Bishop, who is playing under the rookie contract he signed after he was a sixth-round pick in 2007, had a base salary of $460,000 last season. The 30 percent rule does not include signing bonus, so any deal Bishop did before his contract expired would have to include a sizable signing bonus.”

Regardless of any potential snags, Bishop is confident a new deal will get done.

“I think the Packers really value me, and they’ve talked a little bit about keeping me here,” Bishop said. “Now we’ve just got to figure out all the nuts and bolts of it.”

The Packers have a number of players whose contracts expire after the 2010 season. Add Bishop to a list that includes cornerback Tramon Williams, safety Atari Bigby, defensive end Cullen Jenkins, and wide receiver James Jones. Assuming there is football next year, the Packers have some difficult — and expensive — decisions ahead of them.

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