The Lions finally released veteran ILB Stephen Tulloch on Tuesday after months of waiting for the team to formally move on from him.
According to Dave Birkett, the hold up was related to an offseason ankle surgery Tulloch underwent and the fact that they would have been on the hook for a larger cap hit had they released him earlier in the year.
Birkett told PhillyMag.com earlier in the day and before Tulloch’s release that he believes the Eagles would be a “good fit” for the veteran linebacker, given the obvious connection to DC Jim Schwartz.
“I’ve made the same connection that I’m sure a lot of people have that Tulloch to the Eagles would seem like a good fit,” Birkett said. “The Lions and Eagles play this year, maybe they are trying to wait that out as long as possible…but it would make sense to me that he goes back to Schwartz and takes a vet-minimum type deal to play over there for a year or two.”
Birkett added that while Tulloch isn’t the same player he was a few years ago, he could still be a valuable two-down linebacker for a team like the Eagles.
“Tulloch has lost a step. He’s not quite the same player that he was early on in his career. The Lions used him as a two-down linebacker essentially last year because of some limitations he had in pass coverage but he still had 100 tackles and led the team,” said Birkett. “…He’s obviously going to be a short-term solution, but for a team that I imagine at least wants to contend right away and have some good pieces on defense, I think he could be a solid player. He’s not going to be a Pro Bowler, he’s not going to wow everyone, but I do think he’d be a solid contributor on that team.”
Tulloch, 31, is a former fourth-round pick of the Titans back in 2006. After five years in Tennessee, Tulloch signed on with the Lions spent another five years in Detroit before being released.
In 2015, Tulloch appeared in all 16 games and recorded 108 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, two recoveries and a pass defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 54 linebacker out of 97 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Best Available Free Agents list.