Tulloch's status with Lions remains mystery

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Detroit Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch (55) is still on the team's roster.

Stephen Tulloch offered a farewell to Detroit fans back in February, but nearly three months later, the Lions haven’t provided any information about why he remains on the roster.

“I think Bob (Quinn) has talked to you at length about that one,” coach Jim Caldwell said about Tulloch on Friday.

But Quinn, the first-year general manager, hasn’t explained the situation with Tulloch either.

“I have no update on Stephen Tulloch,” Quinn said last Saturday after the draft ended.

The plan was for the Lions to cut Tulloch shortly after the start of the league year on March 9, which is why he posted the farewell on Instagram on Feb. 18. Even though Tulloch had a $500,000 roster bonus due on March 13, the Lions didn’t cut him, and Quinn indicated that it was guaranteed no matter what the team did.

If the Lions were trying to trade Tulloch, the draft would’ve been the best opportunity, but he’s still on the roster a week later despite a few other players being cut this week.

Tulloch is due $5.5 million in salary this season, and the Lions could save that money on the salary cap by cutting him. The team signed Tahir Whitehead to a two-year, $8 million in March, and the plan is for him to play middle linebacker. Perhaps the Lions want Tulloch around as insurance behind Whitehead, but that’s a hefty price for a backup.

Still, if the Lions plan to cut Tulloch, etiquette suggests they cut him sooner rather than later to give him a chance to find a good fit elsewhere.

“Know him and love him, but I think Bob’s answered that question,” Caldwell said when asked about the team looking out for Tulloch’s future.

Twitter: @jkatzenstein