Chicago Bears veteran cornerback Charles Tillman has been something of an institution with the organization, as he’s played there for his entire career, ever since he picked off four passes, defended 12 in total, and recorded 86 tackles as a rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2003. Injuries slowed down Tillman this past season, and he’s headed into free agency hoping for a final significant payday at the age of 32.
Tillman was burned a bit more than usual in 2013 due to an injury that clearly affected him while he was playing, but he was still able to notch seven passes defended in eight games. Despite his sentimental meaning to the Bears organization and his ability to maintain a high level of play, the Bears are not expected to re-sign him due to his price tag.
According to MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke, Tillman wouldn’t be opposed to signing with the rival Detroit Lions, even if he obviously loves the Bears organization and will retire with them upon the conclusion of his career. “Peanut” simply isn’t going to eliminate possible landing spots, especially since I’m sure money is a big factor for somebody of his age and ability.
He said of potentially playing for the Lions, “That would be a little weird or awkward, but in the end, you’re there to win for the current team you’re playing for, because they’re the one paying your checks. So you go out there and try to win.”
The Lions have a need for a corner, but I would only expect them to sign him if the price is right. Most of the smoke connects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Lovie Smith with Tillman, but he would have to sign a team-friendly deal to play in TB due to the money they have invested in elite CB Darrell Revis. I think he has a significantly higher chance of staying in Chicago than playing for the Bucs, and I think people are too quick to rule out the chances of him re-signing.
Tillman wouldn’t mind playing for the Lions, and this message serves to show that he isn’t going to rule out any potential suitor right off-the-bat.