NFC North Notes: Tillman, Bell, Keisel, Lions

Charles Tillman earned about $8MM in 2013, the last year of his contract with the Bears. Although he had another solid season when he was healthy, recording three INTs and forcing three fumbles in eight games, Tillman likely won’t be offered a similar salary by the Bears in free agency, given his age and the team’s limited flexibility. Still, as Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times details, the 32-year-old defensive back appeared on 670 The Score in Chicago on Wednesday and didn’t sound like someone eager to play elsewhere.

“In perfect world, I will finish as a Bear,” Tillman told Laurence Holmes. “I guarantee I will retire a Chicago Bear. I guarantee that.”

While we wait to see if the two sides can work out a deal that will keep Tillman in a Bears uniform, let’s round up a few other notes from out of the NFC North….

  • “I would like to just bypass all this and sign a long-term deal,” Joique Bell said of his impending free agency, according to Kyle Meinke of Since he only has three years of experience, Bell will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Lions will have the ability to match any offers he receives. Still, it sounds as if the running back would rather negotiate a multiyear contract directly with the Lions, rather than hoping they match.
  • While longtime Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel hopes to re-sign with Pittsburgh, he would definitely consider joining the Lions this spring, as he tells 105.1FM in Detroit (quotes via Justin Rogers of “They’ve got a great team,” Keisel said. “I really like their quarterback. They’ve got Megatron. Who wouldn’t want to play with those guys?”
  • Jeff Dickerson of takes a closer look at the Bears‘ situation at cornerback, where Tillman isn’t the only player facing free agency.
  • Kellen Davis, who will play for the Seahawks in this weekend’s Super Bowl, tells Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times that he felt “a little bit slighted” by the Bears when Chicago cut him last March.
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7 comments on “NFC North Notes: Tillman, Bell, Keisel, Lions

  1. Quentin

    Kellen Davis felt a bit slighted by the Bears when they cut him.

    Kellen Davis couldn’t catch a football.

    Bears signed Martellus Bennett, who could can catch a football.

    Somebody may want to let Kellen know that.

    • John Wiszezur

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

      And when he said he gave the organization “four or five good years” I felt slighted too. I seemed to have missed those “good” years he had!

    • Steven Prigge


      He was horrible. And when he did eventually catch the ball 1 time out of 50, he would trip over his own feet and fall down. Awful.

  2. johnrhee

    If Jeremy Shockey did not retire, he would of been a great backup tight end to Zach Miller as he can catch the football better like a receiver.

  3. Steven Prigge

    Obviously things can change with FA and what not, but as of now, I’d go all defense (BIG GUYS) except for a speed threat on offense and a center.

    1) I’d be happy if the Bears trade back and add a couple more quality picks

    2) We desperately need to add some beef to the interior D-line. If you fix the line, A LOT of the problems they had last year become less of an issue. If your linemen can get pressure on the QB, our secondary won’t be left on an island trying to cover receivers for extended periods of time. If your linemen can take up space and not get pushed around against the run, it’ll make life a lot easier for the LB’s as well. Choosing D-line, I’m leaning towards Hageman, would be a no-brainer.

    3) I’d love to get Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the second or third round (Or Keith McGill later in the draft).

    4) I also would love to add a speed threat to the offense in one of the rounds. I’d be extremely happy if we could add someone like De’Anthony Thomas in the fourth or fifth round. He’s an electric player that can backup Forte (Bush is done) and is more than capable of coming out of the backfield and making catches. He would be a GREAT change of pace player to add to this core of RB/WR. He’d also replace Hester in the return game.

    5) Add a C at some point. Garza is garbage. He’s the new Olin Kreutz, aka not there for his play on the field.

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