Ty Law Would Provide A Punch

With a logjam at the cornerback position, the question has been raised as to whether or not Ty Law is a viable option for the Kansas City Chiefs. Would it be a wise decision by Carl Peterson to add Law to an already overcrowded defensive secondary that is ripe with young talent? How can the Chiefs justify Law's enormous salary demands when the cover two defense will be their primary scheme?

Law was on everyone's hot list a year ago. His stock has cooled in 2006. This is not only true among teams that might want to sign Law, but his market value as well. This is especially true among Kansas City fans, a fan base that has grown tired seeing of high-priced free agents use the Chiefs to drive up their market value.

One year ago, Law and his agent Carl Poston used the Chiefs and the Kansas City media as pawns in their lucrative game of "Who wants a 10 million dollar shutdown corner?" Needless to say, this left a bad taste in the mouth of both the media and fans alike. These days, Law and Poston are finding far fewer suitors in a market that was saturated by free agent defensive backs and a draft that featured nine corners taken in the first two rounds.

It just so happens that the Chiefs are in a more comfortable position than they were a year ago with their secondary. The sense of urgency at the cornerback position has disappeared with the arrival of head coach Herm Edwards, secondary coach David Gibbs and a stable of young cornerbacks that are itching to make their mark in the NFL. It is that same group of young players that makes the best argument for not signing Law.

The Chiefs have to consider the development of Alphonso Hodge, Justin Perkins, Marcus Maxey, Benny Sapp, Lenny Walls and Julian Battle. If none of these players see the field on a regular basis they'll never develop into potential starters.

It should also be noted that deep coverage sits on the shoulders of the safeties in a cover two defense. Because of this, Kansas City's young corners would find themselves in more forgiving environment compared to a man coverage scheme. Their time on an island against receivers is fairly limited, and the stress put on their position is a lot less demanding.

On the flip side, this young group of corners will be expected to take on a new role in run support. For many of them, this will be uncharted territory, and in the cover two their run responsibility is just as important as coverage is in a man-to-man defense.

In a cover two defense, it is critical that corners be able to cut off the sidelines and force perimeter plays back towards the middle of the field. This requires a more physical style of play than most corners are used to. They'll often find themselves mixing it up with tight ends and linemen, so they need to be able to flow and engage like a linebacker while hitting and tackling like a safety. Benny Sapp is the only player from Kansas City's young crop of corners that has shown this ability.

Now let's go full circle and look once again at Law. When it comes to the physical style of play that was described above, he's the perfect cover two corner. However, the primary benefit of having him in the Chiefs defense would be his versatility. Unlike the developing corners on the Chiefs roster, Law can excel in either man or zone coverage.

Law's presence would allow defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham to disguise secondary calls, making zone coverage appear to be man and vice versa. This makes things especially tough on quarterbacks in their pre-snap reads, because they're never really sure if they can believe what they're seeing. As a result, the quarterback will tend to hold the ball a little bit longer or even throw an interception because of a misread.

Even if Cunningham never employed this deception and simply ran a constant mixture of different coverages, it would be enough to keep the offense guessing. If Law signed with the Chiefs, he'd be the only corner outside of Patrick Surtain that could make this possible. It takes a pair of elite corners to effectively pull this off.

So, to answer the all questions, yes, Law would make an immediate impact for the Chiefs. If they are still in a win now mode, he's worth every penny of an eight-to-ten million dollar signing bonus. He instantly places the Chiefs back in the "contenders" category and upgrades the capability of their defense twofold.

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