Bills wide receiver David Nelson reported yesterday via twitter that free agent linebacker and former Green Bay Packer Nick Barnett was in town visiting the team. Barnett was reportedly supposed to meet with the Detroit Lions today and take a physical but that trip might be cancelled. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported today, citing a source, that the Lions have come to an agreement with former Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch.
This can only be good news for the Bills as the Lions seemed to be the only other team with serious interest in Barnett. With Tulloch heading to the “Motor City” and likely to claim the starting middle linebacking position between DeAndre Levy and FA signing Justin Durant, the Lions will likely no longer have an interest in Barnett’s services.
The Bills are desperate for a veteran middle linebacker presence and the former Packer would be a great fit. Barnett has been a stalwart whose shown the propensity to make plays in the middle of the Packers defense over his eight seasons in the league. In 107 games played he’s accumulated 787 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 9 interceptions and 7 recovered fumbles.
Injuries are somewhat of a concern however, as he’s only played one full season in the last three. He missed the majority of the 2010 season with a wrist injury. Barnett, who turned 30 this year, can still be a major asset in the middle of the Bills defense if he can stay healthy.