Tulloch stays with Lions; LBs Start Signing Now?

Stephen Tulloch has signed a five-year contract to remain with the Lions. (Rick Osentoski/AP Photo)

The Detroit Lions just stirred up what has been a stagnant inside linebacker market thus far in free agency.

Stephen Tulloch agreed to a 5-year deal to remain with the Lions, according to reports. Terms have not yet surfaced.

The Detroit Free-Press says Tulloch's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and the Lions spent the morning hammering out the deal.

"I want to thank all of the Detroit Lion fans for sticking with me through this process. This is a special team & I'm glad to be apart of it," Tulloch tweeted.

Reports last week indicated that Tulloch wanted more than the 5-year, $42.5 million deal that the Browns gave linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Tulloch made $3.25 million last year on a 1-year deal with Detroit. We can be pretty sure that since no other suitors emerged, Tulloch probably didn't get $42.5 million.

The other linebacker among the top-tier duo is Atlanta free agent Curtis Lofton, who is said to be seeking $9 million per year. Lofton, 25, has started for the Falcons since they drafted him in the second round out of Oklahoma in 2008. He has started 63 of a possible 64 games.

Lofton visited New Orleans earlier this week and also has been in contact with Tampa Bay. It swill be interesting to see if the Tulloch signing means somebody snatches up Lofton.

If the Eagles are, in fact, looking for an inside linebacker through free agency, the prominent names could drop off quickly. David Hawthorne has visited the Saints and was scheduled to visit Detroit, although they will no longer be in need of his services. Unfortunately, according to the Ann Arbor News, Hawthorne was in the air when word of Tulloch's signing broke. Guess he will be in for a surprise when he lands.

Other options include veterans such as London Fletcher, E.J. Henderson, Gary Brackett or Jameel McClain. There has been no indication of Eagles interest in any of them, but the Birds do like to play it close to the vest.



To read our previous posts from today, including thoughts on Tim Tebow, click here.