While free agent CB Charles Tillman remains quiet on whether he will return to Chicago next season, he has made it clear that he has no interest in switching from his cornerback position to safety.
Tillman bluntly stated “I don’t want to play safety anywhere“, in an interview with The McNeil and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score this morning, via CBS Chicago.
Tillman has played cornerback for his entire twelve-year career in the NFL, all with the Bears. Despite his success there, many have suggested that Tillman would excel at the safety position for years, often citing his size (6-foot-2) and ball skills as the primary reasons. Tillman’s injury-shortened 2013 season may only intensify the calls for change.
There has not been any indication from the Bears organization that they would be more inclined to bring Tillman back if he made the position change. The team currently has only an estimated $5 million in cap space for the 2014 season, though that number will likely rise after the expected release of DE Julius Peppers. Still, Bears GM Phil Emery has made it clear that his number one priority this offseason is to bring in some youth on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bears have already re-signed CB Tim Jennings to a four-year $22.4 million deal. It remains to be seen if they want to commit a large chunk of their remaining space to the soon-to-be 33-year old Tillman.
Tillman himself acknowledged the difficult decision the Bears are facing, stating “Everyone knows how the process works. It’s a business. If I’m here, sweet. If I’m not, that’s business. Tillman added, “There’s no hard feelings. I love Chicago“.
Should the Bears and Tillman part ways, many have suggested that a reunion with ex-coach Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay could be in the cards.
We have Tillman listed as the No. 80 player in our recently updated Top 100 Free Agents list.