Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio is reporting that the Detroit Lions have re-signed linebacker Stephen Tulloch to a five-year deal. The move comes just a day after Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said that the team was having "very productive conversations" with Tulloch about a new deal. I guess they were pretty productive, as Tulloch is now set to be a Lion for the next five seasons.
When Tulloch originally joined the Lions on a one-year deal last summer, the hope was that he would eventually get a long-term contract with the team. The Lions risked losing him this offseason by allowing him to hit the open market, but things have been developing quite slowly for linebackers. This turned out to be good news for the Lions, as Tulloch remained a free agent and didn't hit a payday elsewhere.
In 2011, Tulloch had 111 tackles for the Lions, as well as five pass defenses, two interceptions and one touchdown. He took over the starting middle linebacker job and became an integral part of the defense. The Lions have talked about how important he is for their future plans, and now he is set to be in those future plans by re-signing.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that the Lions re-signed Tulloch the same day that they were scheduled to bring in linebacker David Hawthorne for a visit. Anwar Richardson reports that Hawthorne is actually on a plane to Detroit right now. With Tulloch being re-signed, it seems unlikely that Hawthorne's visit will actually happen, so he may be headed right back out of Detroit as soon as he lands.