Charles Tillman: ‘I’m sure Chicago is fiending for another QB’

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Charles Tillman is an analyst for Fox. (AP)

HOUSTON — A former Bears Pro Bowl player and a retired coach think it’s time for Jay Cutler to go.

“I’m sure Chicago is fiending for another quarterback right now,” retired cornerback Charles Tillman said Tuesday. “Eight years, it’s probably time for both parties to part ways, leave it on good terms and call it a day.”

Tillman played alongside Cutler for six years.

“Obviously, you’ve got to find a quarterback,” he said. “That’s one of the issues they’ll probably address.”

Cutler’s seven-year contract runs through 2020, but the Bears can release him or trade him at the cost of a mere $2 million cap hit. General manager Ryan Pace has said he’ll examine every avenue to improve the position — be it free agency, a trade, the draft or keeping a player on their team.

Dave Wannstedt also said the team should move on from Cutler, who’s 51-51 as a starter for the Bears. He and Tillman are working for Fox during Super Bowl week.

“From a talent standpoint, Jay has as much talent as most of the quarterbacks in the league. We know that,” said Wannstedt, who coached the Bears from 1993 to 1998. “But when you’ve had a guy that long, you also have to look at, the team’s gonna struggle at some point.

“And when the team struggles, is this guy gonna be coachable? How’s it going to be in the locker room when the media turns on him? How’s he going to handle all this?

“If there’s any doubt that it’s not a good thing, it might be best for you and best for him to move on.”

Wannstedt, who lives in Chicago, said drafting the right quarterback is a 50/50 proposition, even with the third overall pick.

“I would say Ryan Pace has a great success ratio,” he said. “I would give him credit and have confidence in him.”

Long story

Guard Kyle Long is being tested this offseason, his father said. His right ankle and the labrum in his left shoulder needed to be surgically repaired.

“In many ways, it can define you,” Fox analyst Howie Long said.

“I think Kyle coming back from the injuries he has to come back from can be defining. I think he’s excited about that opportunity.”

Long said his son has grown a lot in his first four years as a pro. He reached the Pro Bowl his first three seasons.

“Kyle’s matured a great deal and understands the commitment and what needs to be done,” Long said.

This and that

One day after word leaked that he would not return to the Bears, wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson signed on with the Saints for the same job.

Johnson, a longtime New Orleans resident, signed a one-year contract with the Bears last offseason.

•Bears director of development Jerry Butler has retired.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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