The Chicago Bears have signed a plethora of their own free agents before the new league year starts on Tuesday but one player that they have yet to sign back is free agent cornerback Charles Tillman.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweeted on Monday that if the Bears do not bring back Tillman, then the cornerback may be headed to the Carolina Panthers.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 10, 2014
The connection to the Panthers for Tillman would be head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera was the long-time defensive coordinator for the Bears during the 2000s before moving on to be defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and then head coach for the Panthers.
The Bears have publicly stated that they would like to have Tillman back for the 2014 season, however, the team has also been mum on the status of the negotiations between the two sides.
Tillman missed the entire second half of the season for the Bears in 2013 after suffering a torn triceps injury. The triceps injury only adds to a list of injuries that already includes issues with his knee and groin that Tillman has suffered in recent seasons.
The Bears have a desire to get younger on defense in 2014 and that may be the main reason why Tillman may not return to the Bears next season.