Is Ty Law Worth It?

The beauty of low expectations in the NFL is that a team can come out of nowhere and become the darling of the league. Almost everyone loves the underdog. In 2006, the Chiefs are in that situation. Nobody expects them to win this year. But will that change if they sign free agent cornerback Ty Law?

Despite the fact he's still unsigned, Law has been written about so much that he remains the most popular topic among Chiefs fans. Everyone wants him because everyone feels he's the missing link. He's the piece of the puzzle that will catapult Kansas City's defense to new heights.

With Law in the fold, the Chiefs could arguably become a legitimate top 10 defense, and that would put them on par with the talented defenses in San Diego and Denver.

But where will Law actually sign?

Rumblings in New England on Wednesday suggest that a dark-horse team is emerging. We know the Chiefs, Patriots, Seahawks, Titans and Cardinals appear willing to make Law an offer. But it's not all about the money. Or is it?

Law recently indicated in an interview with the KC Star that he'd love to play for the Chiefs, and most notably play alongside Patrick Surtain and Sammy Knight. That's all good news for Chiefs fans. But he also mentioned that his relationship with his former head coach in New England, Bill Belichick, was on solid footing.

That could be bad news for the Chiefs in their pursuit of Law. It could also be a ploy to drive up Law's price.

Clearly, Law wants a deal that will surpass the $6.5 million in guaranteed money he received from the New York Jets in 2005. Last year he had 10 interceptions and went to another Pro Bowl. But after Herman Edwards left the Jets, Law wanted out of New York so badly that he gave back $1 million of his salary so the team would release him before the start of free agency.

That does not sound like a man who is only concerned about money. He didn't want to be in limbo. Even though he remains a holdout, he's holding a pocket full of aces and he knows it.

He's the best player available on the open market, like Deion Sanders was a decade ago. Law remains a hired gun for any prospective team that needs a veteran presence to put their defense over the top.

Will Law do that in Kansas City? I think so.

Back in April, just seconds after the Chiefs wrapped up their first draft day sessions, I asked Edwards about his interest in Law. He gave me a coy smile.

"You never know," he told me.

As OTAs ended several weeks ago, Edwards offered up that same coy smile and indicated with 100 percent certainty that Law would be in someone's training camp.

Now we're hearing news that the Chiefs might have restructured Willie Roaf's contract, presumably in an effort to clear even more cap space for the 2006 season. But is that enough to get Law under contract in Kansas City?

Probably. Some reports have the Chiefs about $9 million under the salary cap. If you add a couple million to that based on Roaf's rumored new deal and then subtract the Chiefs rookie pool of about $3.5 million, the team has about $7.5 million to give Law.

But will they pay that much?

That depends on how bad they want to get to the Super Bowl. Granted, one player does not make or break a team, but in the NFL, championship teams need playmakers to win playoff games. Law is a playmaker. His three Super Bowl rings say everything you need to hear about his abilities in the postseason.

This year, the Chiefs have a trio of difficult road games at Pittsburgh, Miami and Denver. After that, they have a favorable road schedule. Their home schedule is much easier than it was a year ago, when they finished 7-1 at Arrowhead.

There's not a team on this year's schedule that should beat the Chiefs in Kansas City.

With Law on board, I am giddy over the prospect of the Chiefs finishing 8-0 at home.

In the end, the Chiefs have to be willing to put their best foot forward and make Law feel like he's an important part of their future – even if that future is only one season.

The Chiefs still have some question marks going into training camp, but I believe the talent on the roster and the level of coaching puts them on par with the elite teams in Chiefs history. I say that because Edwards has lifted the dark cloud that has hung over this team since the playoff loss to Indianapolis.

Edwards knows that with Law, his team could be Super. Edwards and the Chiefs will be judged on their ability to get into the playoffs and win.

It's time to get the deal done and everyone knows it, including Law and the Chiefs. Law has made it clear that Kansas City is a team he's willing to play for. Most importantly, he's willing to walk through fire for his head coach. He did so last year during a woeful season in New York.

The fact that he's spent most of his off-season working out in St. Louis leads me to believe that he just needs to make the 220-mile trek down I-70 and end the drama.

Will he do that? Only time will tell.

But with Law talking to the media again, it appears this roller-coaster ride is heading down the last leg of the track.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories