Tag:Stephen Tulloch
Posted on: June 18, 2010 12:25 pm

What to do with Tennessee's LBs?

In the past few days, we’ve blogged about the no-showing of Stephen Tulloch and the travails and wanderings of Keith Bulluck. Those two posts help make up a larger story about the shape of the Tennessee Titans LB corps.

Basically, it’s not in good shape .

Tulloch, the leading tackler from last season, signed his restricted free agent tender this week, but he hasn’t been seen since. Bulluch, who had the second-most tackles, is a free agent and still not completely recovered from ACL surgery. Gerald McRath, who had 47 tackles last year and was projected to be a starter, has to serve a four-game suspension after a positive test of a banned substance. David Thornton (59 tackles), meanwhile, has been beset by injuries and won’t be ready until training camp. Plus, he’s 31.

What to do, what to do?

"We have plenty of options as far as the position is concerned," head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters. "We have great competition. We have guys that have played, so we have plenty of time to get that thing sorted out."

One option is former Eagles linebacker Will Witherspoon, a solid veteran who signed as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He’s already helped rookie Rennie Curran.

"It's kind of in a state of flux, but as always, you try to bring stability to the situation,” Witherspoon told the Associated Press. “You make sure you understand what's going on and how you can approach the situation. That's exactly what I want to do. I want to come in here and be on the field playing, making plays and doing what I've always done throughout my career. That's the way I look at it.”

Among the other options at LB for Tennessee, Jamie Winborn, Colin Allred and Stanford Keglar will vie for playing time. Also, the team still could choose to resign Bulluck.

“I’m still watching the Keith Bulluck situation,” Fisher said. “I have not changed on that. We have options and fortunately we have plenty of time to deal with that."

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: June 14, 2010 5:22 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2010 5:28 pm

Linebackers Giving In, Signing Tenders

As expected, more restricted free agents have chosen to sign for what they believe is “less than fair market value” today. Broncos outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, Redskins inside linebacker Rocky McIntosh, Titans middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch and Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson all signed tenders. It was an obvious choice, given that their other option was to hold out and risk signing for “far, far less than fair market value” later. At midnight, teams can reduce their original tenders to restricted free agents, leaving players with two options: sign for just 110 percent of their ’09 base salary or sit out the season and get nothing.

There has been speculation that Dumervil, the AFC’s sack leader in ’09 and Denver’s only bona fide pass-rusher, could be in line for a long-term deal. However, the Broncos have been quiet on that front.

McIntosh, while presumably pining for a long-term contract, could break an even bigger bank in 2011. The fifth-year pro is coming off a career season. Given his continuously improving run-stopping abilities, McIntosh should be even more productive (read: more valuable) in Washington’s new 3-4 scheme. Plus, London Fletcher is 35. Fletcher has yet to show any hint of decline, but if he hits a wall in ’10, McIntosh’s value to the Redskins becomes even greater.

Tulloch’s presence is critical for Tennessee given the absence of injured veterans Keith Bulluck (currently a free agent) and David Thornton (likely to be released). Jackson, one of the league’s most productive tacklers (statistically speaking), is looking to bounce back after an injury-riddled ’09 campaign.

---Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com