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June 19, 2016

Should the Eagles sign LB Stephen Tulloch if/when he becomes available?

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061816StephenTulloch Rick Osentoski/AP

The Lions told Stephen Tulloch they would release him in February. They'll get around to it eventually. Probably.

This offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles signed three of Jim Schwartz's former players when he was the defensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills. They were CB Leodis McKelvin, CB Ron Brooks, and LB Nigel Bradham. Not only did the Eagles bring them in, but Schwartz has all three running primarily with the first team defense.

By that logic, the Eagles could have interest in soon-to-be former Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who played for Schwartz with the Tennessee Titans for three years, and then again for another three years in Detroit. It doesn't hurt that the Eagles' linebacker depth is very thin behind the starting group of Bradham, Jordan Hicks, and Mychal Kendricks, along with primary backup Najee Goode.

Tulloch, 31, isn't an impact player by any stretch, as he has just five interceptions and two forced fumbles over a 10-year career. However, he has been a solid player with the Lions, topping at least 100 tackles in every season he finished in Detroit. The book on Tulloch is that he's still a good player against the run, but can be a liability at this stage of his career in coverage. As a low-cost band aid, Tulloch could help the Eagles get through this season as a competent rotational player, and not force the likes of seventh-round rookie Joe Walker or one of the Eagles' undrafted free agents onto the field prematurely.

One notable snag is that Tulloch is still on the Lions' roster, although the circumstances with that situation are odd. In February, Tulloch wrote a goodbye message on his Instagram account.

But he wasn't released. In March, the Lions were trying to trade Tulloch, but there was no way they were getting any teams to take on a $5.5 million cap cost for a 31-year-old linebacker who is probably not a three-down player anymore.

In June, the Lions excused Tulloch from their mandatory minicamp.

As we noted yesterday, the Eagles are already significantly hampered by what they can pay players going forward, as they currently have the most active cash spending in the NFL both in 2017 and 2018. Any money they can roll over from their 2016 salary cap space into 2017 will be helpful, so it would only make sense to sign Tulloch at a reasonable cost.

My buddy Tommy Lawlor at wrote about Tulloch as well. Go check out his take on him here.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski