Dave Birkett reports that Stephen Tulloch underwent an offseason surgery and was unable to pass a physical on Tuesday, which is why the Lions elected to wait to release him.
- Birkett points out that had the Lions released Tulloch earlier in the offseason, they would have been on the hook for a larger cap hit.
- Josh Katzenstein points out that Tulloch specifically had arthroscopic ankle surgery.
The Lions have already announced the release of LB Stephen Tulloch.
Here’s a statement provided by HC Jim Caldwell:
“As I have said numerous times since I became head coach of the Lions, Stephen Tulloch has been a consummate professional on and off the field.”
“We thank him for his contributions to the Lions and the Detroit community and wish him the very best in all his future endeavors.”
The Detroit Lions have released veteran LB Stephen Tulloch, according to Pro Football Talk.
Reports from several months ago mentioned that the Lions informed Tulloch that he was being released. However, they still paid him a $500,000 roster bonus and reports later surfaced that they were at least trying to trade Tulloch.
The Lions elected to drag out this situation for some reason without offering any explanation for why it took so long to move on from Tulloch.
It will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for his services in the coming weeks. The Lions didn’t do him any favors by waiting and cutting him loose at this point in the NFL calendar.
One team worth keeping an eye on for Tulloch is the Eagles, who have his former head coach Jim Schwartz now running their defense.
Tulloch, 31, was in the final year of his five-year, $25.5 million contract that included $11.25 million guaranteed. He was set to make a base salary of $5.5 million for the 2016 season.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing will free up $6 million in available cap space while creating $1.3 million in dead money.
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.