Bishop in 2008
|Date of birth||May 15, 1976|
|Place of birth||Galveston, Texas|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||Willis High School|
|NFL draft||1999 / Round: 7 / Pick: 227th|
|Drafted by||New England Patriots|
|1999–2000||New England Patriots|
|2001||Green Bay Packers|
|2004–2005||Grand Rapids Rampage|
|2007||Kansas City Brigade|
|2007||Grand Rapids Rampage|
|2009||Corpus Christi Hammerheads|
|2009–2010||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|2011||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Awards||1998 Consensus All-American
1998 Davey O'Brien Award
1997 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Bishop was a member of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts from 2002 to 2008. He also previously played with the National Football League's New England Patriots during the 2000 season and also played in the Arena Football League, most recently with the Grand Rapids Rampage. He was also one of the best college quarterbacks in the country during his career at Kansas State, beating out UCLA's Cade McNown for the 1998 Davey O'Brien Award. Academy Award winning actor Jamie Foxx (Eric Bishop) is Michael Bishop's first cousin.
Bishop was an outstanding football and baseball player at Willis High School in Willis, Texas. A two-year starter who averaged 221.2 yards-per-game passing as a senior, he was an All-Montgomery County, all-city and all-state selection in football. In baseball, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 28th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft.
Bishop initially attended Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas where as a freshman, he led the Buccaneers to a 12–0 record and the NJCAA National Championship. He rushed for 387 yards including three scores and passed for 1,712 yards and 18 touchdowns. His sophomore year, he once again led Blinn to a 12–0 record and an NJCAA National Championship. He was voted honorable mention All-Conference and controlled an offense which recorded 3,086 yards rushing, including 47 touchdowns and scored a total of 438 points (36.5 avg. per game). He passed for 972 yards and nine touchdowns, and rushed for 265 yards and four scores. After his two years at Blinn, he played baseball for one season at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas in the spring of 1997.
He was heavily recruited by a number of Division I programs as a defensive back, but decided upon Kansas State University, as head coach Bill Snyder was the only coach to offer Bishop the opportunity to play the quarterback position.
In 1997, his first year at Kansas State, Bishop started all 11 regular season games and completed 80-of-185 passes for 1,557 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed for 556 yards and added nine rushing touchdowns. Bishop was voted second-team All-Big 12 Conference by the league’s coaches and Big 12 Newcomer of the year by Associated Press. During the 1997 season, Kansas State won 11 games including a 1997 Fiesta Bowl victory over Syracuse led by Donovan McNabb by a score of 35–18. Kansas State's only loss in the 1997 season came to the eventual national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers. The loss was the first of only three in Bishop's collegiate career.
In Bishop's senior year, Kansas State was considered a contender for the 1998 National Championship. That year, he broke school season records with 2,844 yards passing and 23 touchdowns with only four interceptions, He led the team with 14 rushing touchdowns and finished second with 748 yards on 177 attempts. He passed for 440 yards and four touchdowns on 23-of-40 passes vs. Northeast Louisiana, his four touchdown passes tying a school record and his 440 passing yards ranking him second in school history. He passed for 306 yards and a pair of touchdowns and rushed 25 times for 140 yards (5.6 avg.) with two scores and was voted Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week as the Wildcats defeated Nebraska for the first time in 30 years. Bishop led the Wildcats to an undefeated regular season and the Big 12 North title, putting Kansas State in 1st place in the ESPN-USA Today Coaches poll and 2nd in the Associated Press media poll. Just two weeks later, the Wildcats' national championship dreams were put to an end. In the 1998 Big 12 Championship Game on December 5, 1998, Kansas State lost in double overtime to No. 10 Texas A&M team 36–33. Bishop ran for one touchdown in the game and threw for two more scores.
Bishop started in all 25 games (including bowl games) during his two seasons at Kansas State and posted a 22–3 (.880) record. He received 792 votes, including 41 first place votes, but finished second in the 1998 Heisman Trophy voting to Ricky Williams. He finished his Wildcat career fourth on the all-time passing list with 4,401 yards and broke Chad May’s career record with 36 touchdown passes despite playing only two seasons. He ranks second only behind Lynn Dickey in Kansas State history with 5,715 yards of total offense. Also established a Kansas State record with 59 total touchdowns (rushing and passing). After his senior season, he was voted a consensus All-American and All-Big 12 Conference selection and was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
The Wildcats finished ranked third in the BCS, and lost in the Alamo Bowl to Purdue, 37–34.
Bishop was selected by the New England Patriots in the seventh round (227th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. However, he was inactive for all but one game. It was not until the 2000 season that he played in his first ever professional game. During that season, he saw only limited playing time, passing nine times with just three completions. During a game against the Indianapolis Colts he threw a 44-yard Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half in his first career attempt. Afterwards, several Patriots fans, upset with the poor play of starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe throughout the season, demanded that coach Bill Belichick name Bishop the starter, though this never happened. Tom Brady called Bishop "one of the best athletes he has ever seen" in the 2000 NFL Season.
In 2001, Bishop played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe. He started six games for the Galaxy, and completed 76-of-153 passes for 1,090 yards, including 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also gained 244 yards on 35 carries (7.0 avg.) and scored one rushing touchdown. Bishop was released by the Patriots in August, 2001. He was then signed by the Green Bay Packers but was cut before the regular season.
In his first AFL season in 2004, Bishop seldom saw any playing time with the Grand Rapids Rampage, playing in only five games. In 2005, he started in 15 games for the Rampage and led the league in rushing yards, rushing attempts, yards-per-rush, and rushing touchdowns. He also set a record for most rushing yards in a single game on February 5, 2005 against the Colorado Crush by becoming the first player to ever rush for 100 yards in an AFL game. In addition to this record, he also holds the AFL record for most rushing yards in a season with 459. Because of his rushing statistics as a quarterback combined with his strong arm, comparisons between him and NFL quarterback Michael Vick were made. Some fans and sports writers have labeled him the "Michael Vick of the AFL".
In 2006, Bishop signed with the Chicago Rush. Despite the buzz he created in 2005, he was relegated to sharing the backup quarterback role behind Matt D'Orazio with Asad Abdul-Khaliq. Bishop received very little playing time since joining the Rush in 2006, though some of that was a result of a leave of absence he took from the team due to the passing of his mother. The Rush went on to win ArenaBowl XX that season.
On October 31, 2006, Bishop signed with the Kansas City Brigade. However, on March 13, 2007, he was traded to the Rampage, marking his second stint with the team since 2005. On May 15, 2007, he was placed on the Rampage's reserve list under the "left squad" category. This move was done to clear the way for his return to the Canadian Football League.
In 2002, Bishop was traded from the Calgary Stampeders (who owned his CFL rights) to the Toronto Argonauts along with two 2002 late round draft picks for Michel Dupuis, a 2003 First-round CFL draft pick, and a conditional 2003 CFL draft pick. He had some brief stints as a starting quarterback with the Argonauts, but was predominantly a backup. Between 2002–2005, he completed 206-of-446 passes for 3,192 yards, 17 touchdowns and 32 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 53.2. He also rushed for 768 yards and seven touchdowns.
In 2003, Bishop was put in with just seconds left in a playoff game against the Montreal Alouettes. Since the Argonauts were not within field goal range, he was to throw a Hail Mary pass in hope of a miracle. He did not receive his miracle but, he was seen throwing the ball approximately 70 yards down the field, thus showing he has one of the stronger arms in professional football.
With his propensity for throwing more interceptions than touchdown passes and an inclination to run with the football, Bishop's quarterback intelligence came into question by many CFL fans. Despite the criticism, he performed satisfactorily while Damon Allen was injured during the 2004 season and helped the Argonauts win the 92nd Grey Cup championship that season.
On April 21, 2006, the Argonauts released Bishop only to re-acquire him four months later on August 11, more than halfway into the season. During that season, the bulk of his playing time involved being inserted into the game exclusively during short yardage situations. During the 2006 East Division semi-final, however, he came in to replace Allen late in the fourth quarter and threw two touchdown passes to Arland Bruce III and R. Jay Soward, sending the Argonauts to the East Division Final.
In the 2006 Eastern Final against the Alouettes, Bishop again found himself replacing Damon Allen in the third quarter. Down 23–3, Bishop threw touchdown passes to Arland Bruce III and Michael Palmer, and was able to guide the Argonauts to within a touchdown of a comeback, however they fell short, losing 33–24. Bishop's play in the playoffs has led some[who?] to believe that he may have finally turned the corner in his CFL career.
During the offseason, it was learned that the Arena Football League's schedule had been shifted later into the year, thereby creating an overlap of the AFL's post-season with the CFL's training camp period. With Bishop signed to an AFL team, there were concerns throughout the CFL's offseason about whether or not he would report to the Argonauts' 2007 training camp. However, on May 14, 2007, he returned to Toronto and participated in an informal workout with some of his Argonauts teammates at the University of Toronto at Mississauga after being placed on the exempt list by his AFL team, the Grand Rapids Rampage for the purpose of leaving the team.
Bishop backed up Damon Allen in the Argonaut's Week One loss to the BC Lions and came into the game in the fourth quarter throwing a touchdown to Michael Palmer and having another touchdown to Andre Talbot called back due to a penalty. Bishop's performance and Allen's struggles led to Bishop being named the Week Two starter against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on July 7, 2007 marking his first start since November, 2005. He threw three touchdown passes to help lead the Argonauts to a 30–5 win over the Tiger-Cats. In a July 12], 2007 game against the Calgary Stampeders, while enjoying a second straight solid start, Bishop fractured his distal radius while being tackled on a run to the Stampeders' one-yard line and was scheduled to miss 6–8 weeks of the season.
The Argonauts went 0–6 with Bishop out of the lineup, however after his return the Argonauts went 9–1 and finished in first place in the CFL's Eastern Division. He finished the 2007 regular season with 2,920 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Bishop helped lead the Argonauts into the 2007 CFL Eastern Division final where they were defeated 19–9 by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He completed under 50% of his passes and while throwing for over 300 passing yards, he also failed to connect on multiple passes in crunch time. He went 11–1 as a starter in the regular season.
Before the start of the 2008 season, The Argonauts acquired the reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player, Kerry Joseph, from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. This was a surprise considering Bishop's record as a starter the previous season. Despite the perceived quarterback controversy, the Argonauts started the season with both quarterbacks. While Bishop did get some playing time, Joseph played the majority of the games.
On August 23, 2008 Bishop was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a conditional draft-pick. He was immediately named the starter and won his first game for the team, against the Blue Bombers. He also won his second game with a fourth quarter rally, where the Roughriders scored 20 unanswered points to defeat the Blue Bombers. Bishop was named the CFL's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Winnipeg comeback. In the 2008 West Semifinal game against the BC Lions, he threw three interceptions and fumbled twice.
On November 10, 2008, it was reported in the Regina Leader Post that the Roughriders had placed Bishop on waivers, leaving to doubt about his future in Saskatchewan. Roughriders head coach Ken Miller confirmed that he and General Manager Eric Tillman had met on November 9 and agreed to release Bishop. Miller himself informed Bishop of the decision the next evening.
On July 26, 2009, Bishop was signed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and returned to the Canadian Football League. In his first game back in the CFL as a starting quarterback, he led the Blue Bombers to a 13–12 victory completing 16 of his 30 pass attempts for 213 yards, including 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
On February 23, 2010, Bishop was released by the Blue Bombers due to poor play throughout the year
After second-stringer Drew Tate was injured in a preseason game, the Calgary Stampeders signed Bishop as a backup for incumbent starter Henry Burris. Bishop was officially signed on June 29, 2011. Once Tate was healthy enough to return, Bishop was released after five games on August 3, 2011.
On September 27, 2011, Bishop was signed by the Blue Bombers because of many injuries in the QB position. He was shortly after released.
Bishop played for the Corpus Christi Hammerheads and was their starting QB. The Hammerheads went 1–3 with Bishop behind center losing to the El Paso Generals and once to the Abilene Ruff Riders. He was traded to a team in the SIFL for the rest of the Indoor Football summer season.[when?]
Bishop also played for the Texas Hurricanes in the Southern Indoor Football League and was their starting QB. The Hurricanes went 0–3 with Bishop behind center and 0–4 when he was on the roster, losing to the Louisiana Swashbucklers, Houma Conquerors, and Austin Turfcats.