Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/24/13
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Rick Spielman's admiration of Ted Thompson is well-known, with the Minnesota Vikings front office boss appreciating the way Thompson has built the Green Bay Packers over the years. Coincidentally, it's often led to Minnesota -- and Spielman since he's taken control as the team's general manager -- signing former Packers. The list continues with the news that the Vikings have agreed to terms with former Green Bay linebacker Desmond Bishop on Monday on a reported one-year deal. Bishop follows in the footsteps of Darren Sharper, Ryan Longwell, Brett Favre, and Greg Jennings this year by making the jump across the border. There's been a theme for all of the Packers-turned-Vikings, though. They've often filled a big need in Minnesota. Bishop's arrival immediately should upgrade the Vikings' linebacker corps. Outside linebacker, or inside if Bishop starts and plays in his most familiar spot, has been open since free agency began and last year's starter for Minnesota in the middle, Jasper Brinkley, signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Erin Henderson, who re-signed to stay in Minnesota as a free agent, promptly made the move to the middle. His defiance last week in stating he was the team's middle linebacker might be more of Henderson's pride speaking than the Vikings' coaching staff. Henderson prepared for the move all offseason. Minnesota said Henderson's move allowed for the team to get the three best linebackers on the field. If a third starter emerged on the outside -- with veteran Marvin Mitchell or rookie Gerald Hodges the most likely candidates -- Henderson could stay inside. Henderson took 100 percent of his offseason reps in the middle, but if a worthy starter was found there, Henderson could shift back to the weakside. The Vikings found someone in Bishop. Bishop, who turns 29 years old next month, missed all of last season with a torn hamstring that he says is fully healed. He started 25 games the previous two seasons and led Green Bay in tackles in 2011. Signing Bishop means Minnesota feels comfortable enough with his health. "If training camp was tomorrow, I'd be a full participant," Bishop told FOX Sports Wisconsin last week. A healthy Bishop, who was one of the Packers' top defenders when healthy, would surely start for the Vikings. Bishop played inside linebacker in Green Bay's 3-4 defense when he was at his best. The logical conclusion to his coming to Minnesota would be that he would start in the middle, with Henderson moving back outside. Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams didn't sound concerned about Bishop's ability to switch to Minnesota's 4-3, Cover-2 defense, though reports are that Bishop's struggles come in pass coverage. "It's not rocket science, Williams said. "It's football and it's still about running to the ball, tackling and reading your keys and making plays when the ball comes to you. I don't think it's a big adjustment." Williams wouldn't say if Bishop was versatile enough to play outside. But Frazier and Williams both spoke highly of Henderson's move to the middle. Were they remaining committed to Henderson because a Bishop signing was still unknown? Bishop worked out last week with the Vikings and ended up leaving town and visiting the Kansas City Chiefs. A starting spot in Kansas City would have meant Bishop staying in his usual spot, inside in a 3-4 defense. So, why come to Minnesota if he's being asked to make a position switch? Despite Henderson's reluctance -- and reports surfaced Monday that Bishop would be tested in the middle and outside for the Vikings -- the most likely scenario would have Bishop in the middle and Henderson on the outside. Henderson, who's been preparing for calling the defensive plays in the middle, could still be the player with the earpiece to the coaches and be the nickel linebacker along with Chad Greenway. Regardless of where they line up, Bishop's arrival immediately upgrades Minnesota's starting linebackers in the base defense and answers, likely, the final starting spot that was up for grabs as the Vikings head to training camp in late July. Waiting until June wasn't the optimal process, but Minnesota had to do something to clarify its linebacker situation. Falling into a former starter, a former 100-plus tackle performer and a player that might be motivated playing in the NFC North against the reigning division champions was a convenient alternative. Mitchell returns to his more natural backup and special teams' roles. Hodges is given time to develop and Minnesota finally has three linebackers it believes it can trust. If Bishop returns near his 2011 level, the Vikings might have their best set of linebackers in several years. There's been another theme for all those ex-Packers in Minnesota. Most of them have had success with the Vikings. Will Bishop -- and Jennings -- thrive in purple? Follow Brian Hall on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Saints still interested in Adrian Peterson

DeMarcus Ware officially retires as member of Cowboys

Jake Long announces NFL retirement after nine seasons

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell drops first music video

Giants will pick up Odell Beckham’s fifth-year option

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nerve damage in Jaylon Smith’s leg starting to improve

Kobe Bryant, Michael Strahan talk about Dear Basketball animated short at Tribeca Film Festival

Serena Williams posts adorable message to unborn baby on social media

49ers might roll the dice on a QB at No. 2

Report: Saints leaning toward not trading for Butler

NASCAR driver Chris Buescher helps fans amid flash floods at Bristol Motor Speedway

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker