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Former NFL player who made $51 million in his career is training to become FBI agent - reports

Charles Tillman spent 12 of his 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.

Charles Tillman (file pic).
Charles Tillman (file pic).
Image: Jeff Siner

Updated at 11.45

CHARLES TILLMAN HAS only been retired from the NFL for one season, but the former All-Pro cornerback has already found his next calling.

According to multiple sources, Tillman is in training to become an FBI agent. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune was the first to report the news.

Tillman spent 12 of his 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears, grabbed 36 interceptions and helped lead the team to its only Super Bowl appearance in the past 30 years. He also made $51 million in his career.

After signing a one-day contract to retire as a Bear last July, he spent the 2016 season as a studio analyst on the “Fox NFL Kickoff” show, but it seems the television gig didn’t suit him.

While the FBI’s Chicago bureau doesn’t comment on personnel matters, former Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt, a longtime panelist on the Fox show, said he was aware of the reason for Tillman’s departure.

First-class,” Wannstedt said of Tillman. “What a guy. Charles Tillman is as good as they come and I had a great time working with him.”

Tillman’s personal history is rooted in service. Born into a military family, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and once spent eight days in the Middle East on a USO tour visit. His charity, the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, works to improve the lives of children in the Chicago area.

His work hasn’t gone unrecognised. The 36-year-old won the NFL’s Salute to Service Award in 2012 and was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2013.

In a 2016 interview with Make It Better magazine, Tillman told Willie Griswold about his passion for law enforcement.

So I’m all about our military and supporting our men and women in uniform,” he said. “[I'm also interested in] helping police officers and law enforcement, I’m big into that. A lot of my friends are law enforcement officers and [I like to] support them as well.”

While Tillman’s specific time frame is unclear, all new FBI agents must be younger than 37 at their time of appointment. Tillman turns 37 on 23 February, 2018.

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