Panthers sign Charles Tillman


We’ve watched cornerback Charles Tillman play in a Bears uniform for his entire 12-year NFL career, but it looks like he’ll be wearing different colors in 2015.

Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that the Panthers are expected to sign Tillman after visiting with him this week. The move will reunite Tillman with Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who ran the defense in Chicago from 2004-2006 when Tillman’s career was just getting started.

Tillman was a fixture in the starting lineup by the time Rivera left the Windy City and he remained one straight through the 2013 season. A torn right triceps cost Tillman eight games and he missed all but two games of last season after suffering the same injury.

If Tillman is able to remain healthy and hasn’t lost too much while on the sideline the last two seasons, he would stand a good chance at earning playing time in Carolina. Josh Norman and Bene’ Benwikere are ticketed for roles in the secondary, but there’s not much else in the cupboard after the Panthers were unable to land Alan Ball.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m. ET: The Panthers announced that Tillman has signed a one-year deal with the team.

50 responses to “Panthers sign Charles Tillman

  1. Hopefully his maturity will rub off on josh Norman. Right now he cares about the celebration after a big play than the big play itself. Your cool josh. Now grow up

  2. 3 picks and 3 FF’s in 8 games in ’13…any team should sign him to a 1 yr non guaranteed deal – if I were the Eagles, I would have signed him and said, earn your spot at Safety. Or Oakland, so he and Woodson can be the oldest D secondary in history.

  3. Good luck peanut, you were a great Bear! He just needs to stay healthy and he’ll help the Panthers, that’s been the rub the last 2 years, tore the same bicep muscle.

  4. I watched this guy destroy my team a few different times. He is a wonderful player when healthy. I think we have the Panthers this year on our schedule to. So hopefully he just misses that game!! 🙂

  5. As a close friend of the organization I would like to make a few comments related to this signing:

    (1) Bravo! One of the few who can lineup in man against Calvin Johnson and absolutely shut him down
    (1b) 2x a year.

    (2) The Panthers D will be a contender for a Top 5 spot next season. If they have a good draft (with DBs) Charles can help groom them and teach them techniques you do not need superspeed to hone and master.
    (2b) Teams like the Saints and Falcons will not be able to torch them over the top as easily.

    (3) Panthers got themselves a diamond. It may not shine like it once used to, but baby its still a diamond.

  6. This is not a 31 year old Peanut Tillman. Gettleman is still trying to get something for nothing. Hell, call Deion, I’m sure he’ll take a $1m to make a cameo appearance.

    This rent-a-player tactic is doomed. Find an OLB and get Cam some weapons under 40, PLEASE!

  7. We will miss Tillman in Chicago but its good to see he is able to extend his career a little bit more, Thanks Tillman for all the great years!!!

  8. Dude is a class act. One of my favorite Bears of all time. Surprised they wouldn’t at least give him a one year deal, but sometimes pride won’t allow players to accept it from the only team they’ve known.

  9. As a Saints fan, the Panthers getting Tillman causes me to have an ‘uh oh’.

    We play them twice, of course, so this may impact what position the Saints choose in Rd 1 at 13.

    I think maybe they’re gonna look harder at selecting tight end or wide out to shore up the O, instead of a talented edge rusher.

  10. Very good signing that should pay dividends in the locker room. Our young defensive backs should be able to learn a lot from this long time NFL stud. Welcome to the Panthers Mr Tillman.

  11. Pfffft. Lineup against Calvin and “absolutely shut him down.” Bears fans really are delusional. I suppose when they haven’t beaten the Lions in over 2 years they have to make something up to make themselves feel better.

    Tillman NEVER covered Megatron 1 on 1. He always had a safety sitting 20 yards off the ball to Megatron’s side. COVER 2 anyone?!

    Megatron has had multiple 2 TD games against Peanut.

  12. While I really like this signing, we seriously need some top shelf young talent. All these used to be top shelf old talent signing are really bothering me.

  13. Who will the Panthers sign next to a one year contract?????Maybe the waterboy.

  14. Hyzers:
    Did you ever watch the games Tillman played, or just the ones he didn’t?

    Did you ever hear Megatron give compliment after compliment to Peanut? Along with the rest of the league and fans (at least the grown up ones?)

    If you can criticize a class guy like Peanut, you have no credibility of anything other than a an immature fan-boy.

    Grow up and recognize sometimes the other team has a good player too.

  15. Carolina 41 Saints 3

    Carolina 41 Falcon 17

    You can always dream, right? LOL

  16. Always a class dude. Really was sorry to see him get injured. It will be a treat to see him play again if healthy.

    Best of luck, Charles.

  17. motsuret06 says: Apr 9, 2015 4:40 PM

    Who will the Panthers sign next to a one year contract?????Maybe the waterboy.

    All these 1 yr contracts are smart because Gettlemen is still trying to dig the Panthers out of the hole that Marty Hurney, the previous GM, put them in. Gettlemen is smart and his plan has been the same, build through the draft, make hard decisions on players that are overpaid, and plug the holes with veterans who have something to prove or need a fresh start.

    So I say Kudos to Gettlemen, Rivera for improving this team

  18. He was a great player, not taking away that. But let’s not just start making things up now. The fact is Peanut rarely covered Megatron 1 on 1. They’ve both won match ups against each other. To say Peanut covered him one on one every time they played and shut him down is a downright falsehood.

  19. Everyone and anyone with a brain knows Tillman was Calvin’s best competition in the division. Tillman hasn’t even played the last 2 years.

    Goodbye Tillman. You were the best CB in the NFCN and one of the best in the whole league. You will always be a Chicago Bear.

    42 Forced Fumbles is Ridiculous!

  20. Urlacher, Briggs…and now Peanut. He will be missed in Chicago, but Carolina gets a class act who will impact the team off the field regardless of what he has left on it.

  21. Hyzers is just upset, frustrated and in complete denial because he can’t admit his Lion’s are in Full Swing Decline.

    Farewell to the best CB in the division for the past 10 years or so. No one on my Packers could shut down Calvin Johnson like Charles Tillman.

  22. “Bears fans really are delusional. I suppose when they haven’t beaten the Lions in over 2 years they have to make something up to make themselves feel better.”


    Beating the Bears the past 2 years under Trestman, Tucker and Emery isn’t anything to be proud of kid. The entire NFL owned the Bears when Trestman was coach. Sounds to me like Lion’s fans are getting desperate and scared.

    The Bears have been owning the Lions since football started.

    96-69 alltime record. The statements above reveal serious insecurity and self-esteem issues from a frustrated Lions fan.

  23. Always liked this guy — seemed like a turnover creating machine in his day.

  24. Carolina 41 Saints 3

    Carolina 41 Falcon 17

    Super Bowls: Panthers 0

    And your point is???

  25. You’re just mad because my user name is 100% accurate in fact. Calvin is a wasted talent, just like B. Sanders on the crappy Lions!

    LoL, The Lions suck! Losing Suh is going to kil your defense and Stafford bl0ws, might be slightly better than Cutler.

    You’re so mad and it’s obvious!

  26. If that’s the case, then every player on the Bears for the last 30 years is wasted talent as well. Stafford never got benched for Jimmy Clausen LOL and CJ and Barry are both Hall of Famers. Bears defense is Charmin EXTRA SOFT

  27. Wasted talent means exactly what you’re trying to use as come back, those guys are hall of fame talent and wasted it on the crappy Lions. The Lion’s suck. The Bears have been the Superbowl twice in the past 30 years and the Lions have been there……..NEVER.

  28. And somewhere Steve Smith smiles…

    “On the second play from scrimmage, Smith set the tone by catching a 58-yard touchdown pass, streaking past Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, who tripped and fell in a futile attempt to keep pace.

    Nobody kept pace with Smith. Catching 12 passes for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns…”

    As a Panther fan this is my only memory of Tillman, I hope he changes that.

  29. Good Luck Peanut! One of my favorite Bears ever. If he didn’t miss these last 2 seasons with injury he would lead the Bears organization in FF, INT’s, and Defensive TD’s all time. Guy averaged a turnover every other game over the course of his career. INSANE!

  30. If Tillman recuperates from the injuries enough, this could help the Panthers a good deal.

    The D backfield, the young corners especially, could really benefit from his example. Josh Norman would benefit from a guy who knows the ropes (and knows how to perform) like Tillman to tell him when needed; “you’re hot stuff, you know you are, and I luv ya like a brother and all that … but that was a really STUPID thing you did on that last play.”

    I like what Josh Norman does for the Panthers D on his better days, but I would like him a lot better if Tillman shows him that he doesn’t need to do it all by himself, as much as anything by way of a healthy Tillman outplaying J Norman on the practice field and on game day on some occasions.

    A mostly healthy Tillman and a “somewhat smarter” J Norman along with Benwikere at nickel would really help the defense. A lot.

    Lubs ya ‘Da Bears!’ fans. My family is spread out down here and up there for years. We all remember Rivera as a player, even.

  31. @wormworth

    Well there ya go. A one-game assessment of player skills. Anybody here want to venture a guess as to why wormfood-for-brains isn’t a GM?

    I bet that the mediocre CBs playing when Smitty had a two catch/two drops bad day are ‘smiling’ too. “Seven Mill contract, here we come!”


  32. Peanut is a man! He is a great football player but a better person. The realities of Football are the older players get pushed around and they have to bounce around to stay employed. None of that will stop Bears fans from remembering one of the best DB’s the Bears ever had. Someday he’ll retire a Bear and I’ll be thrilled he did.

  33. Kinda sad when a player spends his whole career with one franchise, then signs with a different team only to quickly fade into obscurity.

    All the best Tillman, no one will ever remember you as a Panther.

  34. IF…he can stay healthy, he will be an effective player for them. Peanut is a true class act. By all accounts a great teammate, and proven to be wonderful guy in the community. His “playing great football” days are probably behind him, but there are guys with contracts that are worse than he is. I am sad to see him go, but glad the Bears are moving on, I do not share Bears fans feelings who think guys who play here a long time, and play wel,l should be rewarded at the end with a contract they either don’t deserve, or is not in the best interest of the team. Charles was great, and I wish him and his family the best. I know they will stay in Chicago, he has said that, so I think this is Charles going somewhere for a year to got out on the field, rather than on IR, I can respect that. Good luck Peanut.

  35. Hopefully he signs a 1-day contract with Chicago at the end of this season and retires a Bear. It really can’t end any other way.

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