Similar to the subject of my most recent article (Tony Brown), the impending free agent status of fellow Titan defensive stalwart Stephen Tulloch is also in limbo due to the NFL's situation with an expiring collective bargaining agreement.
To make a long story short: New CBA= Tulloch is an unrestricted free agent, No CBA= Tulloch being a restricted free agent.
As the case with my feelings towards bringing Brown back into the fold, re-signing Stephen Tulloch should also be a top offseason priority for the Tennessee Titans.
Since replacing Ryan Fowler as the team's starting MLB in early 2008, Tulloch has emerged as a positive force on the Titan defense. What he lacks in size (5'11") he more than compensates with the speed to be a punishing force in stopping the run.
As Andrew mentioned in his defensive report card, Tulloch's pass coverage could use a little work. However, despite that weakness, overall, he's stepped up as one of the team's better players on the defensive side of the football. In 2009, he led the team in total tackles (121) while also registering two QB takedowns.
In addition to his talents, I've also been impressed with Tulloch's durability. He's a hard-working guy with a great work ethic and those integral traits are probably the engine behind his impressive streak of not missing a single game during his first four seasons in the NFL.
Look no further than Tulloch's Twitter page to get a sense of how dedicated he is to perfecting his craft:
"Over my career the thing I noticed most is players that tend to have success in the NFL are the 1's that eat and sleep the sport..."
Another Tulloch Twitter gem:
"That's what separates and average player from a great player your decision. How much are you willing to sacrifice point blank and simple..."
Thankfully, the Titans appear willing to do whatever it takes to retain the services of their up-and-coming talented MLB. According to The Tennessean's Gary Estwick, the Titans are contemplating the move of reeling in Tulloch by labeling him with the team's franchise tag.
Hopefully, one way or another, Tulloch will continue to spend his Fall/Winter Sundays manning the fort as the Titans' starting MLB next year and beyond.