Tillman speaks at a news conference at Halas Hall in Lake
Forest, Ill., Friday, July 22, 2016, after signing a one-day
contract with the Chicago Bears so he can officially retire
as a member of the team that drafted him in 2003. Tillman
spent his first 12 seasons with the Bears and went to two
Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl with them. Last season he started
12 games with the Carolina Panthers before suffering a
season-ending knee injury and missed the team's run to the
LAKE FOREST, Ill.
— Charles Tillman doesn't have many regrets after his 13-year
career in the NFL, most of it with the Chicago Bears.
But there is one.
cornerback known for his "peanut punch" after forcing 44
career fumbles is sorry he did not become the first member of the
NFL's 40-40 club for forced fumbles and interceptions, falling two
picks short. Oh, and about that nickname.
know who coined the name 'peanut punch,'" Tillman said.
"I wish I had gotten into some of that stock so I could have
reserved the right to use that for myself. But it worked
It did indeed.
Tillman will forever be known as "Peanut" to Bears fans
after he went to two Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl with Chicago, his
hometown team. He signed a one-day contract Friday to retire as a
member of the team that drafted him in 2003 and where he spent his
first 12 years. He had announced his retirement Monday.
He started 12
games last season with the Carolina Panthers before suffering a
season-ending knee injury and missed the team's run to the Super
Tillman has the
most interceptions by a cornerback in Bears history at 36,
trailing only safeties Gary Fencik (38) and Richie Petitbon (37).
Tillman also owns Bears records with nine defensive touchdowns and
eight interception returns for touchdowns.
"You saw me
turn into a man in front of your own eyes," Tillman said at a
news conference Friday as he listed some of his favorite career
moments over the years.
In his rookie
season, he got his first start against the Raiders in Week 5 and
had a touchdown-saving, victory-clinching pass breakup against the
Vikings' Randy Moss 10 weeks later.
the world that I could play with anybody," Tillman said.
"I know when I came from Louisiana(-Lafayette), when I got
drafted, there were a lot people who were like, 'Who the hell is
Charles Tillman? What school is that? Where's U-La-La?" And I
had a chip on my shoulder."
Tillman said he
had considered retirement for months after tearing one of his
anterior cruciate ligaments in December.
tried to talk myself into coming back like three times, I knew it
was time for me to walk away," he said.
George McCaskey praised Tillman as a rare player "with
uncommon ability and tenacity on the field and unsurpassed
compassion and charitable spirit off the field." Tillman was
selected in 2013 as the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year for
the philanthropic work done through his foundation.
terminated defensive back Omar Bolden's contract on Friday.