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Charles Tillman wants to rejoin Carolina Panthers

By The Sports Xchange
Charles Tillman wants to rejoin Carolina Panthers
Former Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (L) tackles Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller after a 3-yard run during the second quarter at Soldier Field on September 7, 2014 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

Free agent cornerback Charles Tillman is hoping to return to the Carolina Panthers for a 14th NFL season.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Carolina is the only team Tillman wants to play for in 2016 once he is fully recovered from the torn ACL that cost him a chance to play in the Super Bowl last season.

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"I just want to play for Carolina," Tillman said Saturday as he assisted former Chicago Bears teammate Matt Forte with his annual football camp in Slidell, La.

Tillman helped the Panthers to a 15-1 regular-season record last year before the injury in Week 17 forced him out of the team's run to the Super Bowl.

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The 35-year-old Tillman told NOLA.com that he is "probably another two months before I'm able to do a few more things" and likely would not sign with a team until near the end of training camp.

"Being in Carolina felt like I had been there my entire career," Tillman said. "The team, the community, the atmosphere, that vibe. The Carolinas -- North Carolina and South Carolina -- they showed a lot of love.

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"That's the only team I really want to play for. It's Carolina. It's a great group of men. ... A great group of coaches. The front-office guys are great. To me it was no surprise they were, or we were, 17-2."

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Tillman played 12 seasons with the Bears after the team selected him in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette. He joined the Panthers in 2015 after his contract with the Bears was not renewed.

Tillman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, forced two fumbles and had two interceptions last season, giving him 44 career forced fumbles and 38 interceptions.

Carolina selected three cornerbacks in the 2016 draft after parting ways with Josh Norman amid a contract dispute during the offseason. The Panthers have eight cornerbacks on the 90-man roster.

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