Charles Tillman is staying put.
The Bears' left cornerback will not be moving to free safety this season, an NFL source said.
It's been an idea that's been floated for years but one that gained more traction since the start of the 2008 season and the issues the Bears faced at safety. Moving Tillman now doesn't make sense, though. It would create a major void at cornerback. Instead of solving a problem, it would transfer it to a new area, one that is deemed more important. Typically, cornerbacks are paid more than safeties and the reason is because teams put a greater emphasis on them.
Tillman is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder and will not be cleared to participate in the veteran minicamp from March 17-19. That's not believed to have factored in the decision, the source said, as Tillman is expected to be fully healthy in advance of training camp.
So, where does this leave the Bears? We went over the remaining depth chart at safety Monday morning when taking a look at the post-Mike Brown era. It doesn't look like there is a star that will be out there in free agency. The Bears would probably settle for a dependable player considering all the turnover they've had at the position. Dependable would hardly describe their experience at safety since, well, the Brown-Tony Parrish pairing the club had in 2001. They'll keep Tillman where he's been dependable for them at cornerback, where he's missed just five games over the last four seasons.