Although the busy part of the offseason involving signings and trades and all that has passed, one name that has kept coming up is Keith Bulluck. The reason for that being that Bulluck played for Jim Schwartz in Tennessee and is a veteran linebacker, which the Lions are sort of lacking right now.
Jim Schwartz hadn't said a whole lot about Bulluck this offseason when asked about the linebacker, usually mentioning that he is coming off of an ACL injury and leaving it at that. Because Bulluck is continuing to recover from his torn ACL, though, Schwartz was suddenly much more open about where the Lions stand with the veteran LB when asked about him today.
"I think that he’s a guy, among others, that we’ve had our eye on," coach Jim Schwartz said today after an organized team activity. "It just throws a little bit of a monkey wrench into it for him because he’s coming off an ACL. But he’s a quality player that’s played for a long time in the NFL, and when he’s available, I’m sure there will be a lot of teams that will be interested in him."
What hurdles would the Lions have to clear to sign Bulluck?
"No. 1 would be a contract," Schwartz said. "No. 2 would be where he is physically and at what point he would be cleared for complete things."
Although this is all still dependent on Bulluck recovering from his ACL injury, Schwartz's comments indicate that the Lions are at least thinking about bringing him in. It would make sense considering the team traded away Ernie Sims, leaving Zack Follett as the potential starter at one of the linebacker spots. While I would love to see Follett in the starting lineup, I would rather see someone like Bulluck, a veteran who has been in the league since 2000.
The theme with every post about Keith Bulluck is that it comes down to his health. You wouldn't think the Lions would make any move until around the time training camp starts, which would allow Bulluck to continue rehabbing and building up strength in his knee. By the time the end of July rolls around, if Bulluck is healthy and ready to get on the practice field, I'd be willing to bet the Lions waste little time in getting a contract sent his way. That's just my read on the situation, but I have to imagine the coaches would prefer to have someone like Bulluck on the team to give some of the younger guys like Follett more time to develop before they are thrown into the starting lineup.