Tulloch has decided to retire from the NFL, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. The 32-year-old played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Titans, Lions and Eagles. He hangs up his cleats having recorded 949 tackles, including 14.5 sacks, and five interceptions over 159 games. From 2009-13, Tulloch finished with over 100 tackles in each season and quickly became one of the top linebackers in the league.
Tulloch signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Eagles on Sunday, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Released by the Lions a few weeks before training camp in a transaction that saved the team approximately $5.5 million against the 2016 salary cap, Tulloch still made out pretty well from a financial perspective, getting $1.75 in guaranteed money from Philadelphia, without having to go through the rigor of training camp. The 31-year-old linebacker will be reunited with Eagles DC Jim Schwartz, who served as Tulloch's head coach with the Lions from 2011 to 2013. Tulloch has overwhelmingly worked as an inside linebacker throughout his 10-year career, but with Jordan Hicks seemingly entrenched as an every-down player in the middle, Tulloch could push to take snaps from weakside linebacker Mychal Kendricks and/or strongside linebacker Nigel Bradham. It's also possible Tulloch will just provide depth at multiple positions, as the Eagles previously had minimal experience behind their starting trio of linebackers. Although he topped 100 tackles in each of his last six healthy seasons, Tulloch probably won't have much IDP appeal even if he ends up starting, as he's become a liability on passing downs in the latter stage of his career.
Tulloch was released by the Lions on Tuesday. Tulloch signed with the Lions in 2011, starting in 67 games during his time in Detroit. The 10-year veteran linebacker was told by the Lions back in February that he would not fit into the team's future plans but kept him around through OTAs. At 31, Tulloch appears to still have gas in the tank, as he registered 107 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble in 16 games last season. It seems likely that he'll be able to find his way onto a roster looking to add a veteran presence to its linebacking corp.
Tullock is not participating in offseason workouts as he awaits his release, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. Tullock was told by the Lions in February that he was not a fit in their future plans and would be released, however, he has not yet been let go. The 10-year veteran linebacker, who led Detroit in tackles last year, said that he would attend offseason workouts to avoid being fined, but the team agreed to not fine him for missing practices prior to his release. Neither Tullock nor the team has specified the reason for the delay, but general manager Bob Quinn has indicated it's due to a contractual issue. Whenever Tullock is released, he'll likely be able to find a role as a backup or two-down linebacker on another team.
Tulloch is surprisingly still on the Lions' roster, MLive.com reports. Tulloch carries a $7.3 million cap hit for the final year of his contract, with $500,000 coming in the form of a roster bonus that kicks in either Sunday or Monday. He said last month that his time in Detroit is coming to an end, suggesting that he expects to be released. The Lions may just be waiting until the last second to make the transaction official, but it's also possible that Tulloch could accept a pay cut to stay in Detroit. Either way, his longstanding IDP utility will be in danger, as the Lions recently re-signed Tahir Whitehead on a two-year, $8 million deal and told him he'd compete for the starting middle linebacker job. Tulloch has an impressive track record, but he's 31 years old and coming off a down season in which he only played 69 percent of Detroit's defensive snaps. Be it in Detroit or elsewhere, he's probably best suited for a two-down role or backup job at this stage in his career. Whitehead, however, could emerge as a top IDP option if he earns an every-down role at middle linebacker.
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