2. Middle Linebacker
Frequently mentioned as a cut candidate to recoup some salary cap space, few expect Stephen Tulloch to return to the Lions next season. His $7.3 million cap number is just too big to justify for a middle linebacker who is as big of a liability in pass coverage as Tulloch was this past season.
There is a place for Tulloch in the NFL as he played well against the run but his play against the pass cost him playing time this past season. Now a part time player with a salary cap number representative of something more, the Lions need a new long term solution.
Tahir Whitehead stepped in nicely when Tulloch was lost early in the 2014 season with a torn ACL, but he has reached the end of his rookie contract. Whitehead said earlier this offseason that he now sees himself as more of a middle linebacker than an outside linebacker. Re-signing Whitehead could be all the Lions need to do to fill the need.
Some Lions fans have already latched on to the idea of the team drafting Alabama middle linebacker Reggie Ragland. That is an option, and could remain an option even if the Lions initially pencil in Tahir Whitehead at middle linebacker during the free agency period.
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