3:56pm: It’s a one-year, $3.05MM contract for Tillman, according to Caplan, who tweets that the Buccaneers and Seahawks also were in the mix for the veteran cornerback. We’ll have to wait for the specific details to learn the breakdown on salary, bonuses, and incentives.
2:54pm: The Panthers have officially signed Tillman to a one-year contract, the team announced today (via Twitter).
Tillman, 34, has seen his last two seasons cut short by triceps injuries, and has played just 10 regular season contests since the start of the 2013 campaign. However, he indicated back in February that didn’t have any plans to retire, and intended to continue his NFL career despite the Bears preparing to move on from him.
During his last full, healthy season in 2012, Tillman was one of the league’s best cornerbacks, earning an All-Pro nod and placing third among 113 qualified corners, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required). Three years later, the longtime Bear may not be quite as effective, but he likely won’t be expensive either — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carolina sign Tillman to a one-year, make-good deal heavy on per-game roster bonuses and incentives.
Tillman is a logical fit for Carolina, given his history with Ron Rivera, who was the Bears’ defensive coordinator about a decade ago. The Panthers pursued free agent corner Alan Ball earlier in free agency, but came up empty-handed when Chicago landed him instead.