2014 NFL Free Agency: Tillman 'open' to joining Buccaneers

Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could sign Charles Tillman to bo

Charles Tillman told the Chicago Sun-Times that he would be open to signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "It makes the deal probably a little sweeter just because it's a former head coach," Tillman said. Of course, he also said that he'd be open to any team, and that he'd like to stay with the Chicago Bears, for whom he's played for the past 11 seasons.

Tillman could fill a number of roles on a Bucs defense that lacks depth at defensive back. While Darrelle Revis is playing very well and last year's second-round pick Johnthan Banks showed some solid play late last season, the team has few quality cornerbacks beyond that. Having four good cornerbacks is almost a necessity these days, and Tillman could help fill a role as a nickel or dime cornerback for a couple of years.

Charles Tillman is clearly on the decline, though. At age 33, that should be no surprise -- but he may still be useful cog in a defense he's exceedingly familiar with. Even with declining skills, a veteran familiar with the message and scheme can be very useful for a new head coach, if only to help establish the desired locker room culture.

Moreover, Tillman fits what the Bucs' front office wants: value. At 33, Tillman is going to come pretty cheaply. There's not going to be much competition for his services, and he likely has a preference for playing under Lovie Smith. General manager Jason Licht also has a history with the New England Patriots front office, who routinely try to squeeze a few years of solid play out of old, over-the-hill players.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are, by all indications, the most likely place for Charles Tillman to land. Whether that really solves any of the team's problems remains to be seen, though.

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