The Chicago Bears missed the playoffs yet again and now a number of difficult roster decisions will need to be made in order for the team to return to the postseason. One of the hardest decisions could be deciding if one of both of the Bears free agents and former Pro Bowl cornerbacks, Tim Jennings and Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman will return.
According to veteran NFL scribe Dan Pompei, the contract situation could get sticky.
“I think there is a good chance Tim Jennings will be back because it’s likely the Bears will make him a priority. He has played well, is not showing signs of age and is a good system fit. As for Charles Tillman, bringing him back could be stickier. I see his situation as similar to Brian Urlacher’s last year. I think the Bears will be interested having Tillman return. But I also think they will be interested in him taking a significant pay cut.”
If the situation is completely similar to Urlacher then Tillman will not be with the Bears next season as he will be 33 next year and coming off an injury-shortened season so his negotiating power won’t be strong, much like Urlacher a year ago.
“If Tillman really wants to finish up as a Bear and is amenable to taking a considerable pay cut, I think there is a good chance both he and Jennings can return. But if he thinks taking a big pay cut from the Bears would be insulting, or if he is intent on getting the highest possible salary no matter who gives it to him, I think he’s gone.”
Like it usually does, this is going to come down to dollars and if general manager Phil Emery can find enough to fit both Jennings and Tillman under the salary cap. Losing either will be tough to swallow, especially Tillman who has long been a fan favorite in Chicago.
Patrick’s the managing editor for Death Valley Voice and news desk staffer for FanSided.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt, @DeathValleyFS. Like his Facebook page and add him to your Google network.