The Detroit Lions and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch are not close on a new contract, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports.
Signed to a one-year, $3.25 million contract last July, Tulloch, 27, led the Lions with 111 tackles and added three sacks, eight tackles for a loss, two interceptions and forced fumbles in 16 starts. The 2006 fourth-round pick out of North Carolina State by the Tennessee Titans became a full-time starter in 2008 and has 568 tackles, 7.5 sacks and four interceptions during his 96-game career.
Tulloch is behind pass-rushing defensive end Cliff Avril on the team's free agent priority list. If neither player signs a short- or long-term extension by Monday, March 5, Avril will be designated the team's franchise player and Tulloch will inch closer to becoming an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
The franchise tag for a defensive end is projected to be worth $10.595 million, while a linebacker's tender would cost the Lions $8.843 million in guaranteed base salary.