Have The Chicago Bears Made a Mistake with Charles Tillman?

By Matt Gabrielson
Bruce Hemmelgarn – US Presswire

The 2014 NFL off season for the Chicago Bears could be rather interesting.  The Bears have not one, but two big names that could potentially hit the free agent market.  Both quarterback Jay Cutler and two time Pro Bowler Charles “Peanut” Tillman are set to hit the free agent market next winter.  If a long term agreement is not reached with Cutler,  you can almost guarantee that he will receive the franchise tag and not Tillman.

Tillman has long drawn both the praise and the ire of Bears fans over the years.  He has made some tremendous plays and shut down some top receivers in the league making fans jump right out of their seats.  On the other hand, Tillman has had some terrible games looking very poor and having fans give him the nick name of “Toast” Tillman.  But for the most part, Tillman has been a very stabilizing force in the Chicago secondary since being drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. 

Last season may have been the best of Tillman’s 10 year career. He seemed to be on pace to possibly win the NFL’s defensive player of the year last season.  He was really tearing up the league with what began to be known as his patented “ball punch” forcing several fumbles throughout those games.  Unfortunately a shoulder injury really slowed down Tillman’s monster season.

Tillman is a special player that is a bit difficult to find, and you would hate to see him walk away. But unless the Bears and Tillman can come to some sort of agreement this coming off season, Tillman may in fact walk away.  This could be troubling as the Bears are already a team in transition that may not be able to afford to lose yet another leader.  With Cutler’s contract set to expire, the Bears may not be able to afford to keep both Cutler and Tillman if the CB does have another huge year.  This could be an interesting situation to keep your eyes on, Bears fans.

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