Cornerback is one of many positions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to address this offseason. Charles Tillman would be one option for the Bucs. The former Bear has spent nine of his twelve years in the NFL playing under Lovie Smith and is set to hit free agency. As recently as 2012, he was considered to be one of the top two or three best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Tillman spoke with USA Today Sports, and it seems that he's not ready to hang up his cleats just yet, despite being 34 years old.
One NFL executive, speaking on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons, said Tillman can still play in the right scheme but will have to sign an incentive-laden, "prove it" type of deal because of his age and recent medical history. And it sounds like that'd be OK by Tillman, who feels like he's had to prove it his entire career.
"The right scheme" would certainly apply to Lovie Smith's defense, and the Bucs could use some added depth at cornerback. The Bucs don't have much at the position beyond Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks, and signing Tillman to a cheap deal could allow them to spend their resources on more pressing holes.
But signing Tillman is not without its risks. 34-year old cornerbacks tend to not be all that good anymore, and Tillman has missed 22 games over the past two years with torn triceps. Signing him would make sense, but relying on him is another thing entirely.