As the fourth day of free agency has come and gone, there has been some big news for the
Bears and former players. Two of the big names from the shredded Bears defense were Charles Tillman, and Julius Peppers. As day four closed, one of them has remained with the team and one has signed with a division rival.
First the bad news, news broke early this morning that Julius Peppers has signed a 3 year deal with the hated Green Bay Packers. The news was first reported on Twitter by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. With Peppers signing a 3 year contract worth up to $30 million dollars with incentives, if he plays all three years will be determined, but he is guaranteed $7.5 million with the deal.
When the Bears released him, it was never expected that Peppers could end up with their bitter division rivals. As Bears fans are looking at it, Peppers is a player who has slowed up each year with his sack totals decreasing every year. He is also the player that couldn’t quite get to Aaron Rodgers on the final play in last year’s heartbreaking week 17 loss to the Packers that sent them into the playoffs as NFC North champions, and sent the Bears home for the offseason. The Packers see this as getting a multiple Pro-bowl player, who will be motivated to punish the Bears for making the mistake of cutting him. In a rivalry that does not need any more spice; the Packers have just added a huge Habanero to this party.
Now for the news that all Bears fans have been waiting for, the Bears have resigned Charles “Peanut” Tillman to a 1 year deal. Tillman, who is the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner, an award to recognize a players contributions to his community off the field, he is the fifth Bears player to with the award named for the great Chicago Running Back.
Tillman only played 8 games last year, but was productive in causing 6 turnovers in those games. “His 36 interceptions rank third in franchise history and he owns club records for interception return yards (675), interception returned for touchdowns (eight) and defensive return touchdowns (nine)” (ESPNChicago.com).
Bringing back one of the true gentleman to play the game was important to the Bears fans, and Tillman not only brings leadership to what is sure to be a young Bears defense, but also a tenacity that will be a good example to those young players that will be blessed to learn from a veteran player, who may be able to teach them a thing or two about his famous “peanut punch”.