Lions meet with Tulloch’s agent but purpose unknown

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Stephen Tulloch

Boca Raton, Fla. — Lions general manager Bob Quinn had a sit-down meeting Monday with agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents two of the team’s most important clients for this offseason.

First, there’s linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who is mysteriously still on the roster after posting a farewell to Detroit on Instagram in February.

Rosenhaus also now represents cornerback Darius Slay, who left agent Eugene Parker and hopes to receive a contract extension this offseason.

The Quinn-Rosenhaus meeting took place at the NFL annual meetings at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

The Tulloch situation remains a mystery, and a source with knowledge of the meeting declined to say if the Lions and Rosenhaus reached a resolution Monday. The 31-year-old linebacker had a $500,000 roster bonus due on the fifth day of the league year, so the expectation was he’d be gone before March 13. Instead, Tulloch is still on the roster.

The source declined to say if Tulloch is injured, which would be one explanation for why the team didn’t cut him. Teams cannot cut injured players during the offseason. The other logical conclusion is that the Lions are trying to trade Tulloch, though it's hard to imagine a team taking on the last year of his contract.

Even though Tulloch is still on the roster, the source said it’s highly unlikely he’ll remain with the Lions for 2016. His base salary for next season is $5.5 million, which is too much for a linebacker whom coaches didn’t trust in passing situations last season.

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The Lions haven't responded to multiple inquiries about Tulloch over the past month, including on Monday.

As for Slay, the Lions are pursuing an extension this offseason, according to the source, but those talks are still ongoing. Although there’s a benefit for the Lions to extend Slay’s contract before the 2016 season, which is the final year on his rookie deal, there’s little reason to do so this spring.

A second-round pick in 2013, Slay played like one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL in 2015.

The Lions could also pursue extensions this offseason with some of their other 2013 draft picks, such as running back Theo Riddick, punter Sam Martin, guard Larry Warford and defensive end Devin Taylor.