The Philadelphia Eagles will need to replace both of their outside starting cornerbacks this offseason. Bradley Fletcher is scheduled to be a free agent and Cary Williams has been released. The Birds have money to spend and there are a number of free agent cornerbacks that they could look to sign.
This offseason's free agency period features several options for Philadelphia. One of those options is veteran cornerback Charles Tillman.
Tillman is one of the most senior options on the market. He's 34 years old and has been in the league since the Chicago Bears drafted him in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. The Louisiana-Lafayette alumnus hasmade the Pro Bowl twice (2011, 2012) and been named first-team All-Pro once (2012).
Tillman has appeared in 156 games for Chicago while making 152 starts. He's recorded 36 interceptions, 134 passes defensed, 737 tackles, and three sacks during his 12-year career. Most impressive, however, are his 42 forced fumbles. That's a crazy number. It's the seventh highest total in NFL history since the league started tracking the individual stat in 1991. For perspective, Brian Dawkins forced 36 fumbles in 224 games played.
Tillman has been in decline the past two years. He's only started 10 games. His 2014 season was cut short when he suffered a season-ending triceps injury in Week 2. He's not planning to retire yet, however. He still wants a ring.
Tillman has the size the Eagles like at 6-2, 198 pounds. The Eagles haven't been completely gun shy when it comes to relying on older veterans; just look at the Eagles offensive line, Trent Cole, Darren Sproles, etc. Despite being an established player in the league, Tillman might be willing to take an incentive-laden deal due to his recent health issues. If the Eagles have to replace two cornerbacks in offseason, they could pair a player like Tillman across from a more reliable option (such as Byron Maxwell?).
As an added bonus, Tillman fits Chip Kelly's culture. He was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2013 due to his volunteer and charity work.
Appeal to Tillman
Tillman wants a ring. He's from Chicago and he's played for the Bears all his career, but it might be best for him to move on with the new John Fox regime in town. Perhaps Tillman views the Eagles as a contender considering they've gone 10-6 the past two seasons and are expected to be aggressive this offseason.