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NFL Free Agency 2011: Stephen Tulloch and the Detroit Lions Come to Terms

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AP PHOTO
Kyle GibbonsAnalyst IIIJuly 31, 2011

Early reports from Twitter have the Detroit Lions finally coming to terms with former Tennessee Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

The signing of the hard-hitting tackling monster most likely indicates the return to outside linebacker for DeAndre Levy.

As I am writing this, ESPN analyst Adam Schefter just verified that Tulloch and the Lions have agreed to a one-year, $3,250,000, including $1.8 million guaranteed.

Tulloch himself took to Twitter thanking former teammates and fans alike for five great years. He specifically thanked Courtland Finnegan and Michael Griffin, stating that he is “forever indebted” to those players.

His decision to sign with Detroit most likely has to do with the team's elevated interest in former Green Bay Packers linebacker Nick Barnett.

Martin Mayhew has made it a point to sign players to one- and two-year deals, a clear indicator of his desire not only to field a good team now, but to leave options for the future, a trait found in many successful NFL general managers, but lost on former Lions general manager Matt Millen.

The signing of Tulloch indicates the team’s dedication to Schwartz’s belief that great defenses start in the front seven, and Detroit’s front seven looks to be very promising in 2011.

For Titans-defensive-coordinator-turned-Lions-head-coach Jim Schwartz has made it apparent that he envisions certain players at certain positions.

The free agent acquisitions of former Titans players Stephen Tulloch and Kyle Vanden Bosch are a testament to that strategy.

In looking through the smoke, you can see the statement that the Tulloch signing represents.

Detroit WILL NOT overspend for players. (This goes for current Lions unrestricted and restricted free agents as well.)

If I’m Chris Houston, I take a good hard look at what’s going on in Detroit and contemplate signing a smaller contract and getting into training camp as quickly as possible because Detroit could begin to look elsewhere.

The Tulloch signing is one of the best acquisitions the Lions have made in years. I love seeing quality players fill predetermined roles.

Mayhew for president in 2012.

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