Bears let Hester go, but what about Tillman?

  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly believe he should be paid as much as Jay Cutler.

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly believe he should be paid as much as Jay Cutler. Associated Press

Updated 3/7/2014 6:18 AM

While the Chicago Bears are parting ways with three-time Pro Bowler and special teams returner Devin Hester, the case is still out on the plight of free agent Charles "Peanut" Tillman.

My take is the Bears will not be a stronger team by losing both players.


With kickoffs almost being ruled out of football, the 31-year-old Hester managed to lead the league in yardage with a career high 1,436 yards, and can be considered the best returner in football history.

His base salary of $ 1.857 million wasn't extravagant, and shouldn't have put that much of a strain on the team.

The quarterback's salary, however, is another story.

As for Tillman, he could be the best Bears defensive player of all time. Before you go crazy, check the stats, turnovers and who covered the toughest receivers over the years, and you might feel differently.

Before his injuries, Tillman was a great corner, and I think he still could be great -- even at 33 years of age, though there is some talk of moving him to safety.

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The Bears defensive backfield needs Tillman. I would have liked to have kept Hester, but I still hope they keep Tillman.

The price of quarterbacks:

It is interesting the Colin Kaepernick camp leaked out that their guy wants Tony Romo and Jay Cutler money of $18 million a year.

As I look at it objectively, I can see his point. In two years his resume is more complete than Romo's or Cutler's because of his postseason success, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Let me ask you, though, this question: which player you would rather have as the Bears quarterback -- Kaepernick or Cutler?

I think it's an easy answer.

Can you honestly tell me you would rather have middle of the road 31-year-old Cutler or the 26-year-old young colt Kaepernick, who has tasted more success and hasn't hit his prime yet?


Kaepernick's camp made a mistake, though, by leaking his salary wishes. He is under contract until the end of 2014 at a base salary of $973,766, and he has to beat a guy in his own conference, Russell Wilson.

Wilson makes a base salary of $662,434 a year, but you don't hear him griping, even after winning the Super Bowl.

If anyone deserves to make a stink, it's him. Wilson knows his big-money contract is coming, and so should Kaepernick.

But it was Cutler who was mentioned, and I can see why. The question of the day is: "What has Cutler done to merit an $18 million a year contract?"

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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