Twentyman: Tulloch agrees to terms on five-year contract

Posted Mar 20, 2012

The Lions have agreed to term on a five-year contract with linebacker Stephen Tulloch, per league sources. Tulloch confirmed the re-signing via his Twitter account.

"I want to thank all of the Detroit Lion fans for sticking with me through this process," Tulloch said through his Twitter account. "This is a special team and I'm glad to be apart of it."

Tulloch was the biggest remaining priority for the Lions after re-signing receiver Calvin Johnson, franchising defensive end Cliff Avril and re-signing left tackle Jeff Backus and was a key component of a revamped linebacking unit that will now return for a second year together.

Outside linebackers DeAndre Levy and Justin Durant are under contract for 2012.

The Lions now have 21 of their 22 starters back from last year's 10-win playoff team. The only starter not returning is cornerback Eric Wright, who signed a free agent contract with the Buccaneers.

Tulloch, 27, led the Lions with 111 tackles and added three sacks and two interceptions in 16 starts. He has never missed a game in six NFL seasons.

"We've had very productive conversations with Stephen over the last couple days. We're very hopeful we can reach an agreement with him sometime soon and we're going to continue to pursue Stephen and try to get him signed,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said at a town hall meeting last night.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Tulloch had reportedly been seeking a deal similar to the five-year, $42.5 million contract that D'Qwell Jackson received from the Browns.

Tulloch signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Lions last July.

A fourth-round pick by the Titans out of North Carolina State in 2006, Tulloch became a full-time starter in 2008 and has 568 tackles, 7.5 sacks and four interceptions in 96 career games.