If a new collective bargaining agreement grants sixth-year linebacker Stephen Tulloch unrestricted free agency, the Titans could move Will Witherspoon to middle linebacker, John Glennon of The Tennessean reports.
“We’re still exploring our options there,” Titans linebacker coach Frank Bush said. “We’ve got a situation with Tulloch that’s cloudy right now. We’re not sure. So we have to massage that and see what happens.
“We know ’Spoon has played (middle linebacker) before. He’s a smart enough kid. He’s a savvy veteran. He can do a lot of different things for us. But as we speak right now, we’ll start him out playing outside and then if we have to (move him) inside, we’ll (move him) inside.”
Since entering the NFL as a fourth-round pick out of North Carolina State in 2006, Tulloch has started 45 of his 80 career games, totaling 457 tackles, 4.5 quarterback sacks, and intercepting two passes. Tulloch has led the Titans in tackles in each of the past two seasons, establishing a career-high with 160 last season, which he played under a “First Round” restricted free agent tender worth $2.521 million in base salary.
Prior to the lockout, the Titans placed another “First Round” tender on Tulloch, which under the expired collective bargaining agreement would carry a base salary of just over $3.5 million.
With Tulloch’s uncertain future, and Witherspoon turning 31 in August and signed through just the 2012 season, the Titans used a 2011 second-round pick on Akeem Ayers (UCLA) and a fourth-round pick on Colin McCarthy (Miami), adding youth to a linebacker corps that includes 2010 third-round pick Rennie Curran and 2009 fourth-round pick Gerald McRath.