Charles Tillman retires after 13 NFL seasons

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Former Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman announced his retirement on Monday after 13 seasons in the league. Tillman spent all of those years but one with the Bears, playing last year with the Carolina Panthers.

Tillman sent out the following tweet on Twitter, embedded with a video that personified the “Peanut Punch” — the nickname given for his propensity to force fumbles using a closed-fist punch.

Tillman was a model citizen and an incredible player, perhaps the best cornerback of all time to wear a Bears uniform. Tillman perennially was at the top of the NFL in causing forced fumbles while using the Peanut Punch. He forced 44 fumbles in his 13-year career, including 10 during the 2012 season.

Bears fans will forever remember Tillman’s rookie season in 2003 when he helped secure a victory over the Minnesota Vikings by intercepting Daunte Culpepper in the end zone on the final drive of the game. Tillman was covering wide receiver Randy Moss — one of the best receivers in the game at that point — in single, man-to-man coverage. Culpepper tossed up a jump ball to Moss — which was Moss’ speciality, given his height and jumping ability — but Tillman went up and snatched it away from Moss with one hand.

The play served as Tillman’s coming out party as a great young cornerback who would solidify the Bears’ secondary for the foreseeable future.

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