The Chicago Bears have flourished on defense thanks to an aggressive style gifted at forcing turnovers, but the team could be poised to lose a crucial part of this unit.
Veteran cornerback Charles Tillman plans to test free agency, according to a report from Mike Coppinger of NFL.com. Reports indicate there is a chance he'll return, but the team is unlikely to give him a similarly large contract to the six-year extension he signed in 2007. The 32-year-old defensive back isn't concerned with the lack of a deal.
"I'm not really worried about it," said Tillman, via the Chicago Tribune. "I have some decisions I have to make in the next couple of weeks, couple of months. I am just going to see what happens. I have some options, I have some thoughts."
There is some speculation from the Chicago Tribune that Tillman could re-unite with former head coach Lovie Smith, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would be an appealing opporunity to help fuel a rebound in Tampa Bay and a chance to play with All Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis for the first time.
It's unclear how the Bears would mitigate the potential loss of Tillman. While he struggled in an injury-ridden 2013 season, he is responsible for generating 36 interceptions and 42 forced fumbles since 2003.