As they search for depth before the beginning of the regular season, the Dolphins are considering free agent linebacker Stephen Tulloch, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Miami wanted to bring in Tulloch for a workout recently, but the club made it clear that it would only consider a cheap deal, which Tulloch apparently isn’t willing to settle for at the moment.
Tulloch, 31, hasn’t drawn much interest on the open market since being released by the Lions in early July. While he’s been tangentially linked to openings with the Cowboys, Tulloch’s only real negotiations have been with the Eagles, who employ his former head coach, Jim Schwartz, as defensive coordinator. Philadelphia was said to be in heavy negotiations with Tulloch as of 10 days ago, but no deal has been struck as of yet.
In his fifth year in Detroit, Tulloch started all 16 games, racking up 108 total tackles, one sack, and two fumble recoveries. However, he wasn’t quite an every-down player, as he saw time on less than 70% of the Lions’ defensive plays. Tulloch also graded out relatively poorly in Pro Football Focus’ rankings, placing as the No. 54 inside linebacker among 97 qualifiers.
As Roster Resource details, Miami is currently projected to start Koa Misi, offseason acquisition Kiko Alonso, and Jelani Jenkins at linebacker, with Spencer Paysinger, Zach Vigil, James-Michael Johnson, and others in reserve. Tulloch, if not a clear backup, would likely serve as an early-down run-stuffer were he to sign with the Dolphins. If Miami is still looking for a low-cost alternative to add to its front seven, as Jackson writes, other free agents such as A.J. Hawk, DeMeco Ryans, Curtis Lofton, and Joe Mays could be of interest to the club.
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