Charles Tillman was a stalwart defender for Lovie Smith and the Bears for quite a few years, helping to anchor the Chicago defensive backfield since 2003. But at age 32, he has admitted that me might be ready for a change of scenery.
Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune spoke with Tillman, who said he’s “not really worried” about the end of his contract and the decisions he’ll have to make, and says he has “some options” and “some thoughts.”
Mitchell also makes mention of “speculation” that he’s try to reunite with Lovie Smith, who is of course now the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tillman was paid nearly $8 million in 2013, but as the Chicago Tribune author suggests, it’s unlikely that the battered and bruised Tillman would command that much on the open market.
The Louisiana-Lafayette product had a fantastic season in 2012, but struggled with injuries in 2013. He’s not likely going to be brought in anywhere as a featured starter, because it just doesn’t seem like he can hold up to that kind of role. But for a team like the Buccaneers, who already have two capable corners, bringing in Tillman to rotate in and play half of the snaps makes a ton of sense to get the most out of a talented but aging star.
Players love playing for Lovie Smith, so it would come as no surprise if Tillman followed his old coach to the Buccaneers. So when Tillman says he has “options,” don’t be surprised if a visit to Tampa is one of them.