Will Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers be back with Bears?

Will Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers be back with Bears?
February 14, 2014, 9:45 pm
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CSN Staff

The Bears defense had a rough go of things last season, battling injuries and allowing big days for opposing players.

But could that side of the ball lose even more?

Charles Tillman and Julius Peppers are two of the Bears' bigger defensive stars, but could both not return to the team next season?

MMQB's Robert Klemko joined SportsTalk Live on Friday to discuss the Bears' future, and he said that the big money going to quarterback Jay Cutler could require the Bears to pinch pennies elsewhere.

[MORE: Could Bears be interested in ex-Lions safety Louis Delmas?]

"I love the way Charles Tillman played right before the injury. I thought he was the cog that was going to put the Bears in the playoffs if he could've been around. I don't think their defensive backfield is ready to lose a guy like that," Klemko said. "Similarly on the defensive line, they don't really have a lot to replace Julius Peppers with, but you don't want to overpay for a guy either. You want to move on and see if you can groom a mid-round draft pick to get into that spot. I think they'll look very closely at the rushing of Corey Wootton from his offseason surgery and hope that he can come back as a bigger and better contributor next year.

"You sign Jay Cutler to the deal, you're going to have to cut corners in other places," he continued. "And I wouldn't be surprised if both Tillman and Peppers are cut as a result of that. I think it hurts a defense that was already struggling. You really hope that Henry Melton can come back and be the player he once was."

Check out what else Klemko had to say about the Bears in the video above.