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Detroit Lions cut veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch

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The Stephen Tulloch saga in Detroit has finally come to an end.

The Lions announced Tuesday they released the middle linebacker.

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The move had been expected since February, but the team had remained mum on the status of Tulloch throughout offseason workouts. He was excused from mandatory minicamp.

While he remained on the roster through the start of the league year -- with Detroit paying a $500,000 roster bonus -- it was clear the 31-year-old linebacker was no longer in the team's plans. The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that Tulloch had offseason surgery and didn't pass a physical until today, which was the reason for the delayed release. 

"As I have said numerous times since I became head coach of the Lions, Stephen Tulloch has been a consummate professional on and off the field," coach Jim Caldwell said in a statement. "We thank him for his contributions to the Lions and the Detroit community and wish him the very best in all his future endeavors."

Tulloch was a tackling machine during his stint in Detroit. He amassed more than 100 tackles in four of his five seasons. He might be best remembered by the national audience for tearing his ACL in 2014 while celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers.

The ten-season veteran led the Lions in tackles in 2015 with 107 in 16 starts. However, his lateral mobility was clearly diminishing. A liability in coverage at this stage of his career, Tulloch could latch on with a club as a two-down, run-stuffing inside linebacker.

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