It absolutely was bad enough when Darrelle Revis left town. However when Brandon Browner also jumped ship, it became clear that the New England Patriots are in the midst of personnel turnover at the cornerback position. As well as drafting a defensive back or two in May, the Patriots should sign free agent Charles Tillman to greatly help stop the bleeding.
Tillman, 34, isn’t any spring chicken, but he still has a few quality seasons left in the tank. Before ruining his triceps in September, Tillman was slated whilst the Chicago Bears’top corner and the team’s best remedy once they faced the NFC North’s top pass-catchers, including Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson.
Before an early end to his 2014 season, Tillman had accumulated 860 tackles, 36 interceptions and eight touchdowns in 11 seasons. While 2014 was certainly disappointing due to the injury, there’s reason to trust that Tillman has more experience than rusted talent and could help out the corner-depleted Pats in 2015.
Because it stands today, the Patriots’top corners are Logan Ryan, Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard. Arrington is a standout slot man, but terrible on the outside. Ryan and Dennard are too undersized to assume No. 1 corner duties. Butler is a bit unproven despite his savior status but definitely worth taking over the No. 2 spot.
Putting Tillman in the mix with a first- or second-round pick would bolster the Pats’lackluster cornerback depth chart. While he isn’t necessarily the answer for the full-time No. 1 corner, Tillman would have been a very good addition to the corps. His size alone (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) makes the veteran more desirable against big-man receivers than simply about any corner on the Pats’roster right now.
Yet another plus for Tillman is he would have been a natural fit in the Patriots’culture. As evidenced by his 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year award and overall reputation through the league, Tillman is a good teammate and plays for the best interest of his team. Seriously, Bill Belichick, provide the respected veteran a chance.