Chicago Bears Face Difficult Decision with Charles Tillman

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Sep 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) makes an interception during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Bears bring Tillman back next season?  He’s the best corner they’ve had, but is he part of their plans in 2014 and beyond?  During his end of the season presser, Phil Emery assured Bears fans that the defense will get younger in 2014.  Getting rid of Tillman and replacing him with a draft pick would certainly be a move in that direction.   Is that a direction the Bears should go?

Tillman battled through a knee injury for much of the 2013 season until a triceps injury finally ended his season.  He was a Pro Bowl performer the two seasons before when healthy.  Even at the start of last season, he looked pretty good until the injuries started to pile up.  Pro Bowl guys don’t grow on trees.  With a full offseason to heal up, perhaps Tillman can return to form?

Tillman made $8 million last season and there’s no way the Bears will be able to afford that price tag.  Would they offer him a low-ball, Brian Urlacher type of deal?  Personally, I think Tillman has a lot more football left in him that Urlacher had.  It’s not easy to say good bye to a legend and Tillman has certainly earned that status with the Bears.  No one knows that better than his former coach, Lovie Smith.

Since Lovie landed the head coaching job in Tampa Bay, rumors have been swirling that he’ll be trying to poach some of his favorite Bears in free agency.  Tillman is at the top of most lists.  Who better to bring in to help install his Cover-2, excuse me, Tampa-2 defense than Tillman, who was one of Smith’s master pupils and embodies the takeaway mentality that he preaches.

Should the Bears bring Peanut back?  Better yet, what do you think is a fair deal to offer him?  My buddy Mike Flanery thinks a 2-year deal with a $3 million base and some incentives makes sense. What do you think?

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  • DeCon

    Boomer…You know where I stand and it has nothing to do with the fact that Tillman is my favorite current Bear and has been for a while. Peanut embodies everything I try to teach my kids both on and off the field. I hope the Bears do the right thing and bring him back to be a leader to the rest of the young players. Since Peppers will likely be gone and even if not, he isn’t a really vocal guy, all the leadership would fall on Briggs and I am not sure if ONE leader on a defense trying to find its way back is enough.

  • Sam Sheneman

    Boomer thanks for a great article! given that Tillman will be offered more elsewhere, the Bears want to go younger, and they are changing their Defensive scheme, unfortunately I Don’t think he is a Bear next year. I hope I’m wrong.

  • John Vassar

    Good article. Tillman may have one more season in him but with recent injuries it has to be a cheap performance based contract. I have had a funny feeling about Tillman all off season. When the season ended and Tucker was under fire, Tillman was quoted as saying some players on the D didn’t buy into the new coach, It is well known he was one of Lovies faves and loyalty on the D to Lovie was strong. I got this feeling Tillman may have been one not to buy in and maybe it is time to say ciao. Look there is good depth at CB in the draft and a couple of guys in the UFA. Not like we can fill the hole. Even Frey showed potential. Might be time to say thanks for the memories.