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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions host 'wild card' tackle Cedric Ogbuehi

Cedric Ogbuehi, a offensive lineman at Texas A&M, had a pre-draft visit with the Detroit Lions on Monday, per Lions web site writer Tim Twentyman.

Ogbuehi’s name was mentioned several times on Thursday during a conference call with ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper. He referred to Ogbuehi as a wild card because he tore the ACL in his right knee in the Liberty Bowl and is unlikely to be ready for the start of training camp.

Ogbuehi could have come out a year ago when he most likely would have been a top 10 pick, but stayed for his senior season with the Aggies when he started at left tackle. In prior seasons he’d started at right tackle and guard which adds to his versatility. has him ranked as the 10th best offensive tackle in the draft and projected to go in the third round. The reason he’s so low is because of the injury. 

Here’s what the web site had to say about his strengths: “Ogbuehi isn't just athletic; he's powerful, demonstrating the strength to simply drive defenders off the ball. ... Ogbuehi’s experience should provide his future NFL team plenty of flexibility.”

Durability is an issue and not just because of this knee injury. Ogbuehi (6-foot-5, 306 pounds) missed three games in 2011 with an ankle injury and another two games in 2013 with an undisclosed injury.

Still, the Lions could use some help on the offensive line. But they would have to be patient since he might not be ready for training camp.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Check out transcript of Lions chat

If you missed the weekly chat discussing the Detroit Lions on Thursday, check out the transcript here

Plenty of speculation on the NFL draft which is just five weeks away. Also much discussion on the state of the offensive line.

Join me for the next chat at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 2. — Paula Pasche


Detroit Lions CB Rashean Mathis didn't plan on playing 13 NFL seasons

Rashean Mathis never dreamed he would play in the NFL for 13 years, but the cornerback is headed in that direction.

“There’s always a number that each person gives himself and mine definitely wasn’t 13,’’ Mathis said in a conference call on Thursday.

“Life happens, you get smarter, you get wiser and realize you didn’t know nearly as much as you thought when you first got into the league. I think my number was eight coming into the league because you think you have everything set. Once I got to six I thought eight wasn’t a realistic number. I thank God I’ve been fortunate to play as long as I have and impact some of the lives I’ve been able to impact.’’

Mathis, who will turn 35 in August, signed a $3.5 million two-year deal with the Lions on Wednesday. He has started 31 games at cornerback in the last two seasons with the Lions. He’s durable and solid.

His durability is no accident. He said he is lifting heavier on his legs.

“I know it sounds crazy being that I’m older and why would I lift heavier, but it’s worked and that’s something that I’ve always (done) to get me ready,’’ Mathis said. “Pounding my legs is something I do early so I maintain strength during the offseason. I do it during the season as well. I will stick to that routine, going on 13 years it has served me very well so I’m not going to stray away from it.’’

It’s unclear if he’ll start again on the outside opposite Darius Slay or move inside to nickel. He’s versatile enough to do both.

Much depends on if the Lions sign another free agent cornerback or pick one or two up in the draft.

“Anywhere to help the team, that’s always been my philosophy,’’ Mathis said. “I know I developed a certain skill set that can be versatile, I thank God for that, it’s probably a reason why I’ve stuck around for so long, I can retain a lot and I’ve been blessed with the skills to play different positions.

“It’s happened that I’ve been at corner for the last 11 and a half years, wherever I am I will do my best to help the team it doesn’t matter where it is,’’ Mathis said.

That attitude is one reason the Lions wanted him back.

“He had an outstanding season for us last year,’’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. “He did a great job in terms of getting himself ready to play, but he also did a great job in terms of helping all the other guys, the new guys in the secondary, especially Darius (Slay), in terms of getting better. 

“That helps you as a coordinator. When you’re talking about stuff and trying to get things nailed down, as an older vet he can help you do that and bring the right questions. He’s like having an extra coach, so it’s good,’’ Austin added.


Check out transcript from chat on Detroit Lions

If you missed Thursday's chat on the Lions, check out the transcript here.

Much discussion on the biggest areas of need in free agency and the NFL draft. Guess what? We also talked about Ndamukong Suh.

Join the next chat at 3 p.m on Thursday, March 26. — Paula Pasche


Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson proposes to girlfriend

While Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is just a few weeks away from getting married, his teammate Calvin Johnson is next in line.

The Lions wide receiver proposed to his girlfriend Brittney McNorton while in Baltimore for the Ed Block Courage Award dinner on Monday night.

“I thought it may be coming but I was totally surprised. I had no idea it was coming this soon,’’ McNorton told the Baltimore Sun in a video.

She said he proposed along the Inner Harbor. 

“It was beautiful — the sky, the stars,’’ McNorton said.

Johnson, quiet as always didn’t have much to say in the Sun’s video.

“The situation was just right, we were on vacation, so why not?’’ Johnson said.

McNorton is the Lions promotions manager. Her dad Bruce was a Lions cornerback from 1982-1990.

Stafford and his long-time girlfriend Kelly Hall will be married on April 4.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions — Todd Gurley makes pre-draft visit

Todd Gurley is considered by several experts as the top running back available in this year's NFL draft. Would he be a good fit in Detroit?

The Lions, who have the 23rd overall pick, brought Gurley in for a pre-draft visit on Monday, according to the team web site.

Since Reggie Bush was released the Lions have a need for another running back to help carry the load along with Joique Bell. Theo Riddick’s strength is catching balls out of the backfield. George Winn had a solid training camp but didn’t get many carries in the regular season — just 19 for 73 yards.

The one big issue with Gurley, who played at Georgia, is that he tore an ACL in November. He’s expected to possibly return for the start of training camp.

Right or wrong, his durability is a concern because he also missed three games in 2013 with an ankle injury. 

He’s got NFL size at 6-foot-1 and 222 pounds. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry in 2014, finishing with 911 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had a dozen catches for 57 yards.

Rob Rang of describes Gurley as “built for the NFL with a muscle-bound, physical frame and naturally lowers his pads and squares his shoulder to attack the line of scrimmage and bounce off defenders.”

Rang also wrote: “Reads the first line of attack very well and senses daylight to hit holes with authority and quickness to stick-and-go, accelerating extremely well in his cuts.’’

Gurley was suspended for four games in 2014 for signing autographs. That is not expected to be affect his draft scout, per

No running backs were drafted in the first round in 2013 and 2014.

Gurley has a chance to break that run in a draft that is rich in running back talent. Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) is also projected as a possible first-round pick.

Jahvid Best was the last running back the Lions drafted in the first round (2010)
The three-day NFL draft starts April 30 in Chicago.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Rashean Mathis tops Detroit Lions in performance bonuses

Rashean Mathis was the big Lions’ winner in performance bonuses for the 2014 season.

The veteran cornerback was making just $1 million last season, but his performance bonus is worth $227,241.98.

It’s the biggest bonus on the team. Jeremy Ross is second with $197,654 and Tahir Whitehead third with $192,028.

Mathis, who is 34, started every game, had one interception and nine passes defended.

The Lions want him back for 2015 but he remains unsigned.Not only was he solid on the field, his leadership benefited Darius Slay and other young defensive backs.

The bonuses are created under the NFL Performance-Based Pay program, a fund that creates a supplemental form of compensation based on a player’s comparison of playing time to salary.

Here’s a complete list of the performance bonuses:
Rashean Mathis: $227,241.98
Jeremy Ross: $197,654
Tahir Whitehead: $192,028.20
Cornelius Lucas: $156,153.98
Larry Warford: $152,012.66
Corey Fuller: $151,967.75
LaAdrian Waddle: $150,251.73
George Johnson: $141,548.84
Darius Slay: $115,717.89
Cassius Vaughn: $112,447.96
Isa Abdul-Quddus: $110,842.24
Travis Swanson: $105,053.02
Josh Bynes: $104,237.92
James Ihedigbo: $97,870.82
Dominic Raiola: $89,021.28
Jed Collins: $81,489.14
Darryl Tapp: $73,906.84
Theo Riddick: $67,747.64
George Winn: $64,628.00
Devin Taylor: $64,061.73
Julian Stanford: $63,844.96
Glover Quin: $59,588.90
Riley Reiff: $59,122.97
Garrett Reynolds: $58,610.01
Mohammed Seisay: $55,541.88
Sam Martin: $52,605.55
Danny Gorrer: $49,177.71
Don Carey: $49,026.71
DeAndre Levy: $45,316.72
C.J. Mosley: $44,807.96
Andre Fluellen: $44,039.04
Joseph Fauria: $39,623.64
Rob Sims: $39,471.44
Ashlee Palmer: $39,334.80
Golden Tate: $38,850.26
Brandon Pettigrew: $38,227.82
Kellen Davis: $37,823.09
Joique Bell: $34,755.61
Caraun Reid: $34,160.36
Jerome Couplin: $32,743.16
Eric Ebron: $32,014.95
Don Muhlbach: $28,788.90
Jason Jones: $25,486.73
Kyle Van Noy: $25,301.63
Nevin Lawson: $23,294.96
Ezekiel Ansah: $21,144.02
Nick Fairley: $12,614.33
Reggie Bush: $12,199.06
Matt Prater: $11,164.65
Jordan Thompson: $10,786.91
Matthew Stafford: $8,969.82
Travis Lewis: $8,178.21
Calvin Johnson: $6,924.80
Ndamukong Suh: $5,451.10
Montell Owens: $4,942.13
Ryan Broyles: $4,660.44
Corey Hilliard: $4,648.14
Stephen Tulloch: $3,820.20
Nate Freese: $3,521.66
Nate Ness: $2,347.24
Alex Henery: $2,013.56
Josh Thomas: $1,247.64
Bill Bentley: $922.08

Detroit Lions sign DT Tyrunn Walker to 1-year deal

Tyrunn Walker, who played the last three seasons for the New Orleans Saints, was signed by the Lions on Thursday night.

The defensive tackle, who is 6-foot-3 and 294 pounds, signed a one-year deal worth about $1.75 million per the team web site.

The Lions are in need of help at the defensive tackle position. They traded for veteran Haloti Ngata on Tuesday after Ndamukong Suh had agreed to sign with the Dolphins. Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley remain free agents.

Walker wasn’t tendered by the Saints as a restricted free agent. 

He played in 16 games in 2014 as a rotational player on the defensive line. He had one start. He finished with 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Walker, who played at Tulsa, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Saints in April 2012.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Report: Detroit Lions won't pursue Nick Fairley

ALLEN PARK — Nick Fairley has been a huge question mark since the Lions did not pick up his fifth-year option 10 months ago.

That question may now have an answer.

The Lions are out of the Fairley free agency sweepstakes according to a report from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

The Lions never said they wouldn’t re-sign the defensive tackle, but they would only do so at the right price.

On Feb. 18, GM Martin Mayhew said he could envision two things. One, the Lions bringing back both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Two, moving forward with neither one.

Put your money on the second scenario.

Suh is preparing to sign a mega-deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Fairley, a first-round draft pick in 2011, played 46 games for the Lions over four seasons. He started eight games in 2014 before sitting out the rest of the season with a knee injury. He was expected to visit the Cincinnati Bengals today. 

The Lions made a trade with the Ravens on Tuesday for 31-year-old All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata

They still have needs at the defensive tackle position.  

C.J. Mosley, who started eight games in 2014, also became a free agent on Tuesday. As did Andre Fluellen.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Check out transcript of Detroit Lions chat

If you missed Thursday's live chat about the Detroit Lions, free agency and the draft, check out the transcript here.

Fans seem impatient just two days into the start of NFL free agency. We discussed the acquisition of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, the loss of Ndamukong Suh, Martin Mayhew's job security  and much more.

Join the next chat at 3 p.m., Thursday, March 19.


Haloti Ngata traded to Detroit Lions from Ravens

ALLEN PARK —Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been traded to the Detroit Lions from Baltimore according to the Ravens. 

Ngata, a five-time Pro Bowler, has spent all nine of his NFL seasons in Baltimore.

He will fill the void left by Ndamukong Suh who signed with the Dolphins as a free agent for six years and $114 million.

Ngata was the ninth highest graded 3-4 defensive end last season and has never finished a season with a negative grade, per Pro Football Focus.

He was traded after the Ravens were unable to restructure his contract for 2015 which was for $8.5 million with a $16 million salary cap hit. His contract will count $8.5 million against the Lions' salary cap.

The Lions will not confirm the deal until a physical is complete.

Peter KIng of Sports Illustrated reports the Lions will send fourth- and fifth-round picks to Baltimore.

Ngata was suspended for the final four games last season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. 

He was a first-round pick in 2006 out of Oregon.

Ngati won the Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens when Teryl Austin was the Ravens’ secondary coach and Jim Caldwell was the offensive coordinator.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions who can hit free agent market

ALLEN PARK — With NFL free agency hours away, the Detroit Lions have plenty of their own players who can hit the open market.

Before today, they signed kicker Matt Prater and quarterback Kellen Moore.

The official time to sign free agents is 4:01 p.m., today.

Obviously Ndamukong Suh is gone after agreeing to a six-year, $114 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Defensive tackles Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley are options to bring back. Fairley has had some interest from other clubs including the Colts. Andre Fluellen will likely be back at one point.

Also on the defensive line, George Johnson was a valuable part of the defensive end rotation. The Lions have placed the original round tender on the restricted free agent. He can negotiate with other teams but the Lions have the right to match. 

Cornerback Rashean Mathis, 34, wants to return and even if he doesn’t start like the last two years he’s versatile enough to play in the slot. His veteran leadership is key to helping younger guys like Darius Slay.

Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, who excels at special teams, proved he could play last season when injuries led to him playing defense.

Guard Rob Sims wants to return, but the Lions have not said if they want him back. They told Dominic Raiola a month ago they would not re-sign him.

Also on the offensive line, Garrett Reynolds started games at guard and tackle in 2014. The coaches like his versatility. Tackle Corey Hilliard missed most of the season with a Lis-Franc foot injury. He’s experienced, but he has trouble staying healthy.

Ashlee Palmer could be a valuable part of the coverage units on special teams. He can also fill on as an outside linebacker.

Jeremy Ross has signed an exclusive rights deal and will compete for the return job along with fourth or fifth wide receiver.

Others who were on the Lions’ 2014 roster who can become free agents today include: Linebacker Josh Bynes, fullback Jed Collins, tight end Kellen Davis, cornerback Cassius Vaughn and cornerback Josh Thomas.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Five thoughts about Ndamukong Suh's departure from Detroit Lions

Ndamukong Suh is headed to the Miami Dolphins where he’s expected to sign a six-year, $114 million deal after 4 p.m. on Tuesday when free agency officially begins. 

The Lions made him an offer that would have made him the NFL’s highest paid defenseman, but the Dolphins offered more.

Five things I think:

1. All along, everyone knew that it was going to be difficult to keep Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Suh for the long run. You can’t have three of the highest paid players at their positions and still afford to field a winning team. That was addressed in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement with limits on rookie contracts. 

2. Was asked this morning if the Lions are now the laughingstock of the NFL. I don’t see that at all. They made an offer that would have made Suh the highest paid NFL defenseman. Miami just outbid them. 

3. The Lions can now look at filling the holes at defensive tackle. Nick Fairley is likely the next focus. Others are out there too including C.J. Mosley who had eight starts last season. Also on the market is Kendall Langford who visited the Lions last week after being cut by the Rams. Look for them to sign Fairley and another veteran defensive tackle and then draft one or two.

4. Now the Lions have a little breathing room and can go after other free agents. Besides defensive tackle they need help on the offensive line, a cornerback and a running back. 

5. Replacing Suh on the field will be harder than off the field. He just was not the best leader — he didn’t show up for voluntary workouts, he seemed to keep to himself. For a second overall pick, he just didn’t seem like captain material. Others on defense who stand out as leaders include Stephen Tulloch, James Ihedigbo, Glover Quin and Rashean Mathis (who hasn’t signed yet).

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions — All eyes now on Nick Fairley

With Ndamukong Suh headed to the Dolphins, Nick Fairley is likely the next target for the Lions to sign. 

The defensive tackle, a first-round pick in 2011, could hit the free agent market at 4 p.m. on Tuesday when free agency officially opens.

Fairley has never been able to stay healthy which is a concern for Lions and other possible suitors. He played just eight games in 2014 after suffering a knee injury in October. He has never played a 16-game season although he made it to 15 in 2013. That concern could keep his price down to $5 million or $6 million per year.

Fairley changed last year after the Lions didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. No longer is there a concern about his conditioning and work habits. At the end of last season, his weight was down to 292 even though he hadn’t played in months. He credits his personal chef for keeping the weight off.

He is coming off that knee injury, but was nearly ready to play for the first playoff game. If they had won, he might have seen time in the next round.

If he keeps the weight off and maintains his conditioning, it gives him a better chance to stay healthy.

C.J. Mosley (who started eight games in 2014) can also become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday. 

So can Andre Fluellen who re-joined the Lions last season after Fairley’s injury.

At this point, the only true defensive tackle on the roster is Caraun Reid who is not ready to start. 

Other free agent defensive tackles are likely to become available on Tuesday, but look for the Lions to focus in on Fairley first. Other possibilities include: Kendall Langford (who was cut by the Rams), the Bears' Stephen Paea, Miami's Jared Odrick (reportedly headed to Jaguars), Falcons' Corey Peters and the Cowboys' Henry Melton.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions sign kicker Matt Prater to 3-year deal

Matt Prater saved the Lions’ season at the kicking position when he was signed to start in week 6 in the 2014 season.

He’ll return after signing a three-year deal worth $9 million according to Ian Rapoport, the NFL Network insider.

Prater, who had been released by the Broncos in early 2014 after a four-game suspension, proved to be just the answer for the Lions. They had gotten off to a rocky start with kickers Nate Freese (3 of 7 on field goal attempts) and Alex Henery (1 of 5) who were both released.

Prater was 21 of 26 on field goals and a perfect 21 of 21 on point-after kicks. He got stronger as the season wore on and only missed one of his last 10 attempts.

The 30-year-old kicker holds the NFL record for the longest field goal at 64 yards. He kicked it for the Broncos on Dec. 8, 2013.

Also on Friday, the Lions signed quarterback Kellen Moore to a two-year deal.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions sign Kellen Moore to 2-year deal

As expected the Lions have brought back quarterback Kellen Moore for his fourth season in Detroit. He was signed to a two-year deal the team announced on Friday.

Moore, 25, has not yet played a snap in the regular season. In part-time work in four preseason games in 2014 Moore completed 35 of 51 passes for 361 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

He was No. 3 on the depth chart in 2014 behind Matthew Stafford and Dan Orlovsky.

General manager Martin Mayhew said weeks ago the Lions were interested in bringing Moore back.  

The offseason is key for the quarterback from Boise State who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

On Friday, the Lions also signed kicker Matt Prater to a three-year deal worth about $9 million per Ian Rapoport, the NFL Network insider.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions — Five things we know about Ndamukong Suh, free agency

Here’s what we know about Ndamukong Suh and the Lions as free agency approaches. It opens at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, although Suh’s agent Jimmy Sexton can start talking to other teams on Saturday.

1. There’s still a chance that Suh will be back in Detroit. The Lions want him and know they will have to pay. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick thinks  he will get a record deal with way more than $50 million in guarantees. Suh to Miami is the hot rumor today. Will it get done with the Lions?  No one knows, but there is still a chance.]

2. If Suh does not return, all is not doom and gloom. He is not replaceable one-on-one, but the Lions can find solid replacements, coach them up and tweak the defense a bit. It was the second-best defense in the NFL last season and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is known for getting the most out of his players. Defensive line coaches Kris Kocurek and Jim Washburn are the among the best in the business.

3. Don’t expect GM Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand to get fired if Suh goes to another team. Not sure why so many fans want that to happen.  It seems people forget the Lions were 11-5 last season and went to the playoffs. Mayhew and Lewand are doing the best they can after having to deal with huge salaries of Calvin Johnson (second overall pick in 2007), Matthew Stafford (first overall pick in 2009) and Suh (second overall pick in 2010). The Lions didn’t have many options with the three big rookie contracts. That changed with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011 which limits rookie contracts, but it was too late for the Lions.

4. Also remember it takes two sides to negotiate. The Lions started the process over a year ago. Since I’m not at the negotiating table, not sure who was at fault for dragging their feet and not getting a deal done before 2014 season. Possibly blame can be assessed on both sides.

5. Suh has all the leverage. It might be different if the Lions had picked up the fifth-year option on Nick Fairley, but they did not. Fairley (who started eight games in 2014) and C.J. Mosley (who also started eight games) can also become free agents. Suh is one of four Lions’ defensive tackles from 2014 who can become a free agent on Tuesday. Fairley seemed to get his act together in 2014 by losing weight, better conditioning and an improved work ethic. He was out the second half of the season with a knee injury. He can be very good, but we haven’t seen it consistently.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions Stephen Tulloch says he will return for 2015 season

Stephen Tulloch will return to the Detroit Lions for the 2015 season. 

The middle linebacker sent this message on Instagram today: “Lets put all the questions and speculations to rest. I will be back in Detroit for my 10th season this year. I appreciate the Lions organization for believing in me and having the confidence that I'll be back to the player that I've always been. Trust and know I grind hard everyday and will hit the field running when its time to suit up.’’

Tulloch tore his ACL during a sack celebration (doing the discount double-check) following getting to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. (See photo.) That was in Week 3 and he missed the rest of the season.

While he is signed through 2016, there was some question if he would become a salary cap casualty.

General manager Martin Mayhew noted at the NFL Scouting Combine that Tulloch had excellent grades in those first three games in 2014 despite the fact he was still learning the new defense.

Along with Tulloch, linebackers DeAndre Levy, Tahir Whitehead, Kyle Van Noy, Travis Lewis and Jerrell Harris are expected to return. Ashlee Palmer can become a free agent on Tuesday.

Tulloch previously has said that he’s ahead of schedule on his rehab from ACL surgery.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Check out transcript of chat on Detroit Lions

If you missed Thursday's chat on the Detroit Lions, you missed plenty of conversation on Ndamukong Suh. Will he stay? Will he go? And if he goes, what then?

It was a lively discussion that you can check out here. Comments or questions? Hit me up on Twitter @PaulaPasche.

Join my next chat at 3 p.m., Thursday, March 12. It's always fun ...


Detroit Lions bring back QB Dan Orlovsky

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who didn’t play a snap in 2014, will return as a backup quarterback. The team announced on Monday that he had been signed to a one-year deal.

Orlovsky, 31, played in Indianapolis in 2011 for coach Jim Caldwell which gives them a good comfort level. 

Orlovsky, who is comfortable as the backup to Matthew Stafford, also played for the Lions in 2005-2008. He’s also been with the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Orlovsky (@DanOrlovsky7) had a perfect tweet for the day: "Even though I was furious they chose not to Franchise Tag me, I'm stoked to re-sign with the Lions for another season! #onepride

Quarterback Kellen Moore, a restricted free agent, will not be tendered but general manager Martin Mayhew said on Feb. 20 that he wants to sign Moore again. Moore shined in preseason games in 2014.

Also on Monday, the Lions did not use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh.

Defensive end Darryl Tapp was signed to a one-year deal.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions sign Darryl Tapp to one-year deal

While much of the focus has been on Ndamukong Suh, the Lions have quietly re-signed defensive end Darryl Tapp to a one-year deal with a base salary of $870,000 and an $80,000 signing bonus.

Tapp was a pleasant surprise in 2014, his first with the Lions.

He was cut after training camp, but brought back after rookie Kyle Van Noy went on short-term injured reserve.

Tapp can also play inside at defensive tackle and spent much time on special teams.
Tapp, 30,  played in all 16 games last season finishing with 17 tackles, half a sack and two pass defenses.

Earlier on Monday, the Lions announced they will not use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh.

Also on Monday, the Lions hosted McNeese State offensive lineman Antoine Everett, their first draft prospect to visit.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Timeline: Detroit Lions, Ndamukong Suh dealings over past year

It’s been more than a year since the Detroit Lions and Ndamukong Suh have been talking about a new long-term deal.

On Monday the Lions announced they would not use the franchise tag on the Pro Bowl defensive tackle. They can still sign him to a multi-year contract. Free agency opens at 4 p.m. on March 10.

Here’s a look what’s happened in past year (or so):

— Feb. 21, 2014: Lions GM Martin Mayhew said: “I anticipate we’ll get something done. He has said he wants to be here, we’d like him to be here. That’s my mindset right now.’’ Mayhew denied rumors that the Lions would trade Suh. They were trying to extend Suh prior to the start of the 2014 free agency to free up salary cap space and just to get the deal done. They were held up after Suh fired his long-time agent at the end of the 2013 season and took months to choose a new one.

— March 7, 2014: Suh hired agent Jimmy Sexton.

— July 28, 2014: At the start of training camp, team president Tom Lewand said: “We’ve had a lot of conversations over the offseason. Every one of the contract negotiations is different. In light of where we are and most importantly in light of getting ready for the season and keeping the focus where it should be, we’ve decided to table the discussions with Ndamukong on any further discussions until after the season.’’

— Dec. 10, 2014: Suh said (and maybe he said it just to get off the subject): “It’ll be Jimmy’s decision (on where I sign), we’ll go with that. You can call Jimmy (Sexton) if you want to.’’ Same day, when asked about possibility of playing his last home game at Ford Field, Suh said, “No clue. It’s not my decision.”

— Jan. 8, 2015: In his season-ending press conference, Mayhew said about Suh: “He wants to be here and we want him to be here. As I said before that’s a pretty good combination, we’ll see how it all turns out.’’

— Jan. 8. 2015: Also, Mayhew would not rule out using the franchise tag and said, “He certainly is a big priority for us, he’s an important part of our football team the last five years. I think the world of him, had an opportunity to sit down and talk with him on Monday and had a good conversation.’’

— Feb. 1, 2015: Team president Tom Lewand appeared on WDIV’s “Flashpoint” and said: “I think there’s a very, very good chance that we can get something done with (Suh) in the next few weeks.’’

— Feb. 6, 2015: Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson told “I don’t think there’s a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want to see Ndamukong Suh on their team. I know I would be no different. That guy is one of the best, overall, period in the NFL. Would I like him on our team? Believe it.”

— Feb. 18, 2015: Mayhew at the NFL Scouting Combine said: “It’s not done, we’re still working on it. Still very optimistic we’ll be able to get it done. I think we have a lot of the essential elements that we need to get it done in that he’s got a scheme he likes playing in, he’s got a passion for the game as you guys know, he’s got a head coach he likes playing for, he has teammates he likes playing with. We have a lot of things he wants in Detroit. Obviously we have a desire to get him signed. A lot of the important elements exist to get a contract done and we’ll keep working on it.’’

— March 2: Team announces several hours before the deadline that it will not use the franchise tag on Suh. It would have cost $26.8 million to tag him for one season. Contract talks continue.