After much speculation that cornerback Charles Tillman would reunite with his former head coach Lovie Smith, the two-time Pro Bowler decided to leave Florida yesterday without inking a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When it was realized that Tillman was still an unrestricted free agent, the Chicago Bears wasted no time in agreeing to a one-year deal with the 12-year veteran.
Tillman is now the seventh player that Chicago have signed since the start of the 2014 NFL year, and is the 14th Bear to re-sign with the franchise since late December.
I feel that it’s great to have Tillman back in the Windy City for at least one more season. Chicago is already trying to fill the holes at their safety positions, which were atrocious in 2013. The Bears’ starting secondary at least will have one of the best cornerback duos in the league with Tillman and Pro Bowler Tim Jennings.
However, no matter how great it is to have Peanut back in a Bears uniform, Chicago should still address the cornerback position a bit more this offseason. There is no guarantee that Tillman will be a complete bill of health in 2014. Last year, the 33-year-old suffered from torn triceps, which resulted in Tillman being placed on injured reserve for the second half of the regular season.
Chicago could continue to do exactly what that have been doing this offseason, which is sign free agents to small contracts, and bring back some of their own players. The Bears could kill two birds with one stone by retaining cornerbacks Zack Bowman or Sherrick McManis. Yes, Chicago does have Kelvin Hayden and Isaiah Frey on their depth chart, but one more proven veteran wouldn’t hurt the cause at all.
There is even the option of selecting a cornerback somewhere in the mid-to-late rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.
All in all, the re-signing of Tillman gives Bears fans much hope that their defense could rebound from such a horrific 2013 season. Along with the recent free-agent additions, and what’s to come in this year’s draft, Chicago could become a well balanced team.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.