Interesting read on Bishop/Hawk

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Read here from Lori Nickel at jsonline.com. Nice article. However, something struck me while reading through this article.

I’ve heard it said before that Hawk is the set-up guy and Bishop then is more responsible somehow for making plays. But one thing I find peculiar is that everyone noticed Hawk’s play last weekend because he was all over the place and importantly, making plays. But in the previous 5 games, Hawk hasn’t done much at all statistically. While I understand a player can purposefully be given a role that is more position/assignment oriented in an effort to help the overall defense, I have trouble getting past the massive discrepancy in production between he and Bishop. Bishop is almost perfectly twice as productive – Bishop 57 tackles 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble; Hawk 27 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 0 forced fumbles. So this leads to the bigger point – how can Hawk make over $2million per year more than Bishop? I know he was a first round pick and I know he should get something extra if he is essentially the playcaller for the defense etc etc – but the fact is Bishop is the better player and he’s earning far less. I know Bishop is a good guy/a team player etc – but somewhere in his head he has to wonder why it is that despite being significantly more productive than Hawk, he earns significantly less.

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4 Responses to “Interesting read on Bishop/Hawk”

  1. DaveK Says:

    Why the difference in contracts? Leverage and length.

    Bishop signed a four year extension of his modest rookie contract during the season. He signed a typical TT Packer friendly contract that was below market but allowed Bishop a huge pay increase without the risk of losing the big contract due to injury. Barnett also gave the Packer’s another option and probably limited the upper limit the Packers were willing to pay Bishop.

    Hawk signed a five year extension after the season. Hawk was due $10 million the next year and was essentially a free agent as there was not way the Packers were going to pay him that. TT had no choice to pay him at or near market value if they wanted to keep him.

    It doesn’t seem fair but I think the players understand that leverage and timing are factors in contracts and not simply production.

  2. awhayes Says:

    Dave I follow your logic, and I did kind of forget Barnett was still essentially in the mix until before this season. But I still wonder why, if the Packers were pretty sure they would want to hang onto Hawk, they didn’t try to also get him re-signed during the season last year. That might have brought the price down quite a bit because pre-Super Bowl title, I don’t think there was much in the way of demand for Hawk. Instead, they ended up having to pay him more than he was worth to keep him.

  3. DaveK Says:

    First, I think you under-value Hawk as a player. I don’t think they give him that kind of deal if they don’t think he brings considerable value to the team. Play caller, team leader, consistency, etc.. Maybe he just adds more to mix then we can quantify. ILB in the 3-4 is hard for me evaluate as a fan and I’ll trust TT on his calculations.

    You also assume they didn’t try to extend Hawk during the season. Maybe they tried to re-sign Hawk during the season but Hawk had leverage and he wasn’t willing to accept Bishop type numbers. So, the Packers moved on to re-signing Bishop instead. I am pretty sure that is how TT operates. He’ll have 3 or 4 pending FA’s to work with and whichever player(s) are willing to start negotiations at Packer friendly deals gets the mid-season extension. Plus, they had longer to work with Hawk after the season as he was technically under contract in 2011. Bishop was set for FA the day the 2011 league year started.

    Another possible factor after they re-signed Bishop that played into the Hawk deal was Barnett’s Superbowl photo dust-up. Their have been other reports of Barnett not being the greatest team guy in the linebacker meeting room. It’s not that he was a ‘cancer’ but I can see Barnett’s ego and personality getting old after awhile especially when you have two other guys that can play. It’s possible that after the Superbowl they wanted to move-on from Barnett and thus really needed to get Hawk to re-work his deal. Again, leverage for Hawk and his deal essentially replaced Barnett’s cap number.

  4. awhayes Says:

    good points dave. the barnett situation did complicate this.
    Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on Hawk this year. I still have a problem with his lack of productivity in the first 5 games (15 total tackles). That’s tough to do as an ILB in a 3-4. I just hope he plays a bit more like he did last week when he made such an obvious difference.

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