Chicago Bears Face Difficult Decision with Charles Tillman

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Nov 17, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears cinjured ornerback Charles Tillman (right) talks with injured outside linebacker Lance Briggs (left) before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Tillman has been a staple of the Chicago Bears defense for the better part of a decade.  After an injury shortened and disappointing season, the Chicago Bears face a difficult decision with the soon-to-be 33 year old free agent cornerback.  Is Tillman part of the future of the Chicago Bears or is it time to part with another legend?

The Bears need to rebuild their defense on a budget and I’m not sure that they can afford to bring Tillman back.  They already re-upped fellow cornerback Tim Jennings to a hefty 4-year $22 million contract extension to start off the offseason, so it seems like they’ve already prioritized which cornerback they thought they needed back.  Jennings is younger than Tillman, though certainly not as accomplished.

Tillman ranks third all time on the Bears with 36 interceptions and tops on the team with 9 turnover returns for a touchdown.  Simply, he is the best cornerback in Chicago Bears franchise history.   Tillman has made it clear he’d like to return to the Bears:

"‘‘Chicago has been great; Chicago is great,’’ Tillman said as Bears players cleaned out their lockers at Halas Hall. ‘‘They’ve got great owners, great fans, great teammates. This is a great team; it’s a great organization. Eleven years here is truly an honor. I’m truly blessed with the McCaskey family for what they’ve done, for them taking a chance on a little scrawny kid out of Lafayette, Louisiana. So, yeah, man, I’m truly blessed and happy they took a chance drafting a little kid out of Louisiana.’’"