Charles Tillman returning for 2014

Chicago's Charles Tillman picks off a Andy Dalton pass in the first quarter against the Bengals at Soldier Field Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

The Bears have re-signed the best cornerback in franchise history, Charles Tillman, to a one-year deal.

According to Adam Caplan of ESPN, Tillman's contract is "worth just under $3.5 million" for 2014. 

Peanut has spent all 11 of his NFL seasons with the Bears and has 118 passes defensed, 36 interceptions, eight touchdowns and 42 forced fumbles.

Last season, Tillman started eight games and made 41 tackles, six passes defensed, three picks and three forced fumbles. He missed one game and couldn’t finish two others with a knee injury, then tore his triceps against the Lions, ending his season.

“Charles is one of the NFL’s great players and a true leader on and off the field and we’re happy he will be staying in Chicago,” Bears General Manager Phil Emery said.  “He remains the best in our game at forcing turnovers and always has brought a tough, physical presence to our secondary.  Charles also has a special connection to the people and community across Chicago and we’re excited for that to continue.”

Tillman, a two-time Pro Bowler turned 33 in February and tested the free-agent market, visiting Lovie Smith and the Buccaneers. He left Tampa without a contract and agreed to return to the Bears for the 2014 season, his 12th in the league.

At 6-2, 198 pounds, Tillman is one of the game’s most physical and impact corners. He had durability issues in 2013, but missed only six games from 2005-12. He joins Tim Jennings in returning the Bears’ starting duo from the last three seasons. Jennings signed a four-year deal to stay in Chicago on Jan. 2.

The Bears could still bring back Zack Bowman, who filled in nicely for Tillman last season, and expect another corner to come in the draft for the future. They do have Isaiah Frey, a third-year corner, as the nickel back and Kelvin Hayden, who missed all of last year with a hamstring injury.

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