Just minutes after posting about how the Bears need another cornerback, the Bears announced that they have signed Charles Tillman to a 1-year deal. There were plenty of rumors out there that Tillman was going to leave the Bears and possibly join Lovie Smith in Tampa, but he ultimately decided to come back to Chicago for his 12th season as a Bear. His contract is for “just under” $3.5M which is a massive pay cut from the almost $8M that Tillman made last season. That is a big sacrifice from Tillman, but it is also indicative of the market for a 33-year-old corner who struggled with injuries in 2013 missing 8 games. He also struggled in the 8 games he did play, earning a -6.5 grade from Pro Football Focus. Tillman is only a year removed from his Pro Bowl campaign in 2012 when he forced 10 fumbles, made 86 tackles, and was PFF’s 3rd rated corner in the league with a 23.8 grade.
Here is what Bears GM Phil Emery had to say about Tillman at today’s press conference: “Charles is one of the NFL’s great players and a true leader on and off the field and we’re happy he will be staying in Chicago… He remains the best in our game at forcing turnovers and always has brought a tough, physical presence to our secondary.” Agreed!
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I rarely let emotions cloud my analysis of Bear players, but Tillman is an exception. He is one of my favorite Bears of all time and I am pretty happy that Emery decided to bring him back.