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Stephen Tulloch appears to be done in Detroit

The Detroit Lions linebacker said his farewell to the Lions on social media.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Stephen Tulloch's time in Detroit appears to be done. The veteran linebacker posted a farewell message to the Detroit Lions Thursday night on Instagram:

Tulloch's message is vague enough where it isn't clear whether he is retiring or has been released. Considering he is just 31-years old, he likely still has playing time left in the NFL. However, Tulloch's release was not listed on Thursday's NFL transaction list. The Lions have not made any sort of a comment on the situation as of Thursday night.

Tulloch signed with the Lions in 2011 to join his former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Tulloch immediately made a huge impact with the defense, amassing over 100 tackles during each of his first three seasons with Detroit. However, Tulloch was never the same after suffering an ACL tear in 2014. While he returned as a solid run defender the following season, he had clearly lost a step in coverage and his play reflected that.

His decline in play made his 2016 salary of $5.5 million (and cap hit of $7.3 million) a bit too much to swallow. Presuming that the Lions will release him, they will save $6 million in cap space this year.

Money aside, Tulloch's release leaves a big hole in the middle of the Lions' defense. While players like Tahir Whitehead (a current free agent) have shown promise in starting roles, Tulloch's emotional impact on the team will be missed. He was a leader in the locker room and a role model in the community.

UPDATE: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport cleared up some of the vagueness left by Tulloch's Instagram post:

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