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?