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Detroit, Tulloch not close to a deal

Detroit Lions Stephen Tulloch celebrates in the end zone his touch down against Minnesota Vikings during the first half of their NFL football game in Detroit Reuters

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch is due, along with many other NFL players, to become a free agent on March 13 at 4:00 p.m. ET.  The Lions, we’re told, hope to sign Tulloch to a new deal.  We’re also told that the two sides are still talking.

For now, however, they’re not close to getting a deal done.

Tulloch and defensive end Cliff Avril are the two highest-profile Lions who are poised to hit the market.  The team simultaneously is hoping to strike a long-term extension with receiver Calvin Johnson, in the hopes of driving down his $21 million cap number for 2012.  G.M. Martin Mayhew ruled out last week the possibility of cutting receiver Nate Burleson and defensive lineman Corey Williams in order to free up cap space.

In his first and (so far) only year with the Lions, Tulloch started 16 regular-season games and one playoff game.  He spent his five prior NFL seasons with the Titans.

The Lions are more likely to use the franchise tag on Avril than Tulloch.  Ideally, they’ll sign Tulloch to a long-term deal and then tag Avril.

Ideally, that is, for the Lions.  Teams with designs on either player could be hoping for the whole thing to blow up.

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28 Responses to “Detroit, Tulloch not close to a deal”
  1. richardhurtz says: Feb 29, 2012 4:29 PM

    The Eagles will be more then happy to over pay him to boast their pathetic LB corps.

  2. lionfan419 says: Feb 29, 2012 4:32 PM

    all those damn first rounders before the new CBA is killing us!

  3. godfatherd says: Feb 29, 2012 4:36 PM

    I’d love to see Tulloch come back, but every day he doesn’t have a deal I get less and less hopeful. Tulloch was huge in the run game this year and was better than advertised rushing the passer or playing the pass.

  4. buchopeful says: Feb 29, 2012 4:40 PM

    As a few others on my wish list, come to Tampa Mr. Tulloch..(no state tax for starters and we’re loaded too !)

  5. emmac13 says: Feb 29, 2012 4:47 PM

    Come to Cleveland. Just as beautiful as Detroit.

  6. dino2997 says: Feb 29, 2012 4:47 PM

    The Lions are a little too optimistic in their ability to sign their own free agents considering their up against the salary cap. I don’t know they plan on doing it.

  7. funktron2x says: Feb 29, 2012 4:49 PM

    It is a better problem to have trouble keeping good players than to find them. Also nice to know that other teams really want our guys. But i really, really hope Tulloch sticks around. We can replace Avril easier than Stephen….

  8. We'reFineThere says: Feb 29, 2012 4:57 PM

    I don’t understand how the Eagles didn’t sign him last year… I guess his name wasn’t big enough for Howie. Either that or he only passed the ‘short’ requirement but not the ‘light” one.

  9. jimmylions says: Feb 29, 2012 5:32 PM

    If we have to choose between Tulloch and Avril, I’d choose Tulloch.

    Ideally the best situation is to keep them both, but out LB corps is still not as great as it needs to be. We can’t afford to lose one of the standouts.

  10. jenniferxxx says: Feb 29, 2012 5:37 PM

    Every free agent is drooled on by Eagles fans. I guess because it worked out so well last year.

  11. againsville says: Feb 29, 2012 5:41 PM

    He’ll be a buc

  12. nflfollower says: Feb 29, 2012 5:45 PM

    Where is the factual evidence that they aren’t close to a deal? Anybody talk to the lions? Maybe tullochs agent? Perhaps just forgot to mention it in the article. It’s nice to have a source, or at least a hint of one for your readers.

  13. bodester says: Feb 29, 2012 5:52 PM

    They need to get Calvin worked out before anyone else gets signed so they know what cap space they are working with. As much as I like Mayhew I kinda get the feeling he works at a snails pace. Get Calvin extended and get the other players signed.

  14. pc1976 says: Feb 29, 2012 5:54 PM

    Whether or not we resign Tulloch/Avril, the person who needs to improve the most for us is Gunther Cunningham. We were falling off a ledge on defense towards the end of last season

  15. noeffinway says: Feb 29, 2012 6:01 PM

    Part of the new CBA should have included a grandfathered clause of sorts. At the time the new CBA took effect – the cap hit for any signed drafted player still under his rookie contract should only be what the cap hit is now for newly drafted players…..adjusted by what draft choice you are………..something like that. I think you catch my drift.

  16. kenny328usa says: Feb 29, 2012 6:05 PM

    buchopeful, what exactly are you loaded with? You guys stink out loud

  17. dolphins4 says: Feb 29, 2012 6:17 PM

    They should take a page out of Andy Reids book and let him go and draft his replacement in the 7th round.

  18. detroitrollin22 says: Feb 29, 2012 6:19 PM

    They’ll lose Tulloch. Resign Cliff and Sign Megatron to a long term Contract .

    Hopefully, Tulloch can go to the Eagles and the Lions can draft Luke Kuechly.

  19. kal5279 says: Feb 29, 2012 6:24 PM

    all those damn first rounders before the new CBA is killing us!

    ****************

    We only have 3 high draft picks from previous years Stafford who’s contract is actually a good number for his position/production, Calvin who is finishing up his rookie deal anyhow and would be getting paid top dollar regardless, and Suh who’s contract could be restructured given that his cap number shrinks when the TV money raises the cap in 2014 and is kind of backwards at the moment. Every team can and should be budgeted for at least a few big contracts, and they are the 3 most key players on the team so the money is being spent in the right place. CJ’s cap number this year is a killer but it is the type of back end year that was designed to be renegotiated.

    Nobody else on the team was drafted higher than 13 (Fairley last season with the rookie wage scale) and 18 or 19 (Cherilus). The problem lies largely with a few bloated contracts relative to production/value such as Raiola (paid as a top 5 C), Peterman, KVB and a few others. The idea that we are being killed by years of high picks is a misperception, most of those high picks busted out and are off the books.

  20. lolb23 says: Feb 29, 2012 6:58 PM

    I like Tulloch but for a guy who is supposed to be a tackling machine the Lions run defense sucked in a lot of games last year. He’s also super short which causes match up problems with big/tall TE’s and slot WR’s.

    If it comes down to him and Avril, keep Avril, move Levy back to MLB and draft a new kid to groom.

  21. coleman121280 says: Feb 29, 2012 7:19 PM

    Avril, Tulloch, Backis, and resign megatron.

    They can’t keep everyone. now here comes the fall of the greatest Detroit Lion team to ever.

    They still have no running game and the secondary patch work, unless seriously addressed, is one thread away from tearing.

    they are in the NFC North which is by far the toughest league in the NFL.

    With Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and the soon to be next best thing to sliced bread (Christian Ponder) this will be a high scoring division.

    If they don’t sign Backus, they can expect Stafford to be on his Tuckes

    Meanwhile CP will have Matt Kalil covering his blind side for the next decade….

    Skol…..

  22. mhohmann says: Feb 29, 2012 7:22 PM

    I’d love to see Tulloch with an NY on his helmet.

  23. scratchnpost1234 says: Feb 29, 2012 7:57 PM

    When are they gonna groom him? The season starts in Sept. and if Tulloch goes there’s just Levy and Durant, both on the last years of their contracts. Keep Tulloch, it was nice to see a Lion LB actually step up into a whole and meet the RB there instead of clinging to him 5 yards downfield and getting dragged for 5 more. Lions were good in short yardage run situations last season when they tightened up that wide 9 and brought the hogs in. I agree with the poster about Gunther and this wide 9. Gets the DE’s to the QB, but opens up huge wholes for the run too at times. Keep Tulloch, he’s the real deal.

  24. dolphins4 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:05 PM

    Matt Millen was a gift that keeps on giving.

  25. lilrob10201 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:52 PM

    jenniferxxx says:
    Feb 29, 2012 5:37 PM
    Every free agent is drooled on by Eagles fans. I guess because it worked out so well last year.
    ———————————————–
    ———————————————–
    You are such a Eagle hater.I am a Eagles fan and I want them to either get Tulloch or Lofton.One MLB to fill our pathetic LB group.

  26. cwroses1983 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:59 PM

    if mayhew doesnt resign tulloch hes an idiot. He will just be another MILLEN. AND WE WILL SUCK. CUTE BURLSON, or restructure his contract, and sign braylon for 2 mill if he doesnt. Avril needs to franchise, cut Wright to save money for finnegan and draft cb in first round. And give MEGATRON whatever he wants. Pray SUH AND FAIRLEY come around and were SOLID

  27. detroitcityryda says: Feb 29, 2012 9:45 PM

    Let him go and re sign Joey Harrington to replace him heard he bulked up to 250 lately by eating twinkies and practicing on his piano

  28. weaselpuppy says: Mar 1, 2012 12:19 AM

    Tulloch is a good sign….Avril, while a top 10-12 DE isn’t worth the crazy contract numbers being floated around….LoJack is a good rusher and average against the run and Willie Young is a speed rush maniac…cheap. Suh can play 5-10 snaps at DE as well…Barbie Carpenter and Hogue are nice backups but we have no one to play LB in a starting role. Sign Tulloch, let Avril walk, give Backus 2 years and sign Finnegan with Avril’s cash….

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