Two days after making an impact on the roster with the release of Joique Bell, the Lions have now informed linebacker Stephen Tulloch that he will be released after the start of the new league year. Tulloch took to Instagram this evening to express his gratitude to the organization and fans:
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What a journey it's been Detroit! Five years of some of the greatest memories of my career. I can't put into words how grateful I am to have played for such a great organization. I want thank the Ford family the front office the strength coaches, trainers, equipment staff and everybody in between for everything you have done for me over the years. Last but not least I want to thank the community of Detroit for being behind me and my foundation over the years in making a difference in many lives. Such as life there is constant change. But change that I'm looking forward to. As one chapter closes in my career another one opens up.#Detroit#MuchLoveAndRespect#Operation55
Tulloch has spent the last five seasons in Detroit. The move seems to be more related to saving money as opposed to any dip in his production, as Tulloch finished 2015 with 107 tackles. In fact, the only season that saw him finish with fewer tackles was 2014, when he missed 13 games. Cutting Tulloch will save the team $6 million in 2016.
The team still has in-house options to replace Tulloch. Josh Bynes could take the spot, or Tahir Whitehead, who is currently unsigned for 2016.
Also leaving with Tulloch will be safety James Ihedigbo, as he will simply not be re-signed since his contract has expired.
Stephen Tulloch started 16 games in 4 of his 5 seasons for the #Lions. He's not the only starter who'll be gone. Safety James Ihedigbo, too
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 19, 2016
Ihedigbo spent the last two years of his career with the Lions. He appeared in 28 games, but only started in eight of the 15 games he played in this year. He chipped in 112 tackles and five interceptions over the course of the last two seasons.