The Detroit Lions continue to add more linebackers to their versatile defense. But this most recent signing involves a former Grey Cup winner returning to Motown.
Things have come full circle for Freddie Bishop. Back in 2013, the undrafted rookie free agent linebacker out of Western Michigan was originally signed by the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, Bishop would only stay on the squad for about a month early in their offseason.
Bishop would spend the next three years in the Canadian Football League. The 6-foot-3, 255 pound linebacker would also play defensive end as a member of the Calgary Stampeders. Bishop played a total of 29 games over three seasons in Calgary.
The Michigan native actually lead the Stampeders with 11.0 sacks in 2015. And Bishop helped Calgary win the Grey Cup championship the year before.
The talented defender found his way back to the NFL in 2016, signing with the New York Jets. Over the last two seasons, Bishop has been mainly on the practice squad. But he did record a total of 19 tackles and one pass defend playing in nine regular season contests, starting in three of them for the Jets.
On Tuesday, the Lions signed the now 28-year old Bishop. He is taking the spot on Detroit’s bloated 90-man roster vacated by rookie fullback Nick Bawden, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury last month. The Jets didn’t use Bishop as an every-down player. So in Detroit, look for the former CFL star to be used mainly in the 3-4 and as a situational pass rusher.
This is the perfect opportuntiy for a player like Freddie Bishop to shine and earn himself a spot on the Detroit Lions’ active roster. This is a defense amidst a regime change with former New England Patroits’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia now at the helm as head coach. Patricia is expected to implentment his unconventional defensive scheme in Detroit, which requires versatile defenders who can play multiple roles.