In what is becoming an annual event at Halas Hall, the Chicago Bears have a decision to make with one of their star defensive players.
Last year, they had to make a tough decision on Brian Urlacher. They decided to give him an offer that he thought was beneath him. He rejected it and decided to retire (since there were no other offers).
This year the decision is with cornerback Charles Tillman.
Tillman has played his entire 11-season career with his hometown team. He played in two straight Pro Bowls before injuries cut this past season to only eight games. He will be a free agent and this will be his last contract, assuming he is offered one.
The situation with Urlacher got ugly. He was hurt with the Bears’ offer, actually calling it insulting. He has spent the past season and postseason bashing Jay Cutler, Phil Emery and just about anyone he thinks is involved with letting him or Lovie Smith go . He is mad and is letting everyone know it.
Will the same occur with Tillman?
I believe Tillman’s situation will be different. Tillman already guaranteed he will retire as a Bear. Of course, Urlacher retired as a Bear and we see how that is working out.
One reason the Tillman situation is different is because Tillman is still effective. Yes, he was injured this season, but in the previous two seasons he was a Pro Bowler. He can still be effective, while it was obvious Urlacher was on his last leg (literally), he just could not accept it.
Another reason I believe Tillman will be different is because he said so himself.
“I’m just trying to make the best decision, and hopefully the Bears do, too,” he said. “If I get to free agency, so be it. If I don’t, so be it. It’s nothing personal. It’s a business. It’s a process.”
Tillman also said that if he did part ways with the Bears, there would not be any hard feelings and the situation would be completely different from Urlacher last year.
However the case gets resolved with Tillman, it will be amicable. Tillman envisions his relations with the Bears to be more like that of Richard Dent, who was welcomed with open arms, even though he left and played with the Colts and 49ers.
Tillman will not want to be associated with a repeat of the Urlacher situation. The fans do not want that either and hope it does not happen.