The Lions have finally made linebacker Stephen Tulloch’s departure from the team official.
Tulloch was told early in the offseason that he wasn’t in the team’s plans for the 2016 season, but they didn’t make any immediate move and paid Tulloch a $500,000 roster bonus in March. The team announced on Tuesday that they have released Tulloch, which makes him a free agent available to any team in the league. \
“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,” coach Jim Caldwell said in a statement. “We thank him for his contributions to the Lions and the Detroit community and wish him the very best in all his future endeavors.”
A league source tells PFT that the Lions were waiting for Tulloch, who suffered a torn ACL in 2014 but played every game last season, to pass a physical and that they felt no rush to clear up his status because they had already paid out the roster bonus.
Tulloch spent five years with the Lions and started all 67 games he played with the team. He also played five years for the Titans after they made him a fifth-round draft pick in 2006.
UPDATE 5:23 p.m. ET: Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports Tulloch had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle, which accounts for the wait to pass a physical.