Plus, Green Bay's depth at cornerback is shallow at best. Jason Horton, Mike Hawkins and Chris Johnson are in line to play behind Harris, but all three have been bothered by injuries. Horton had chest surgery in late March for sarcoidosis, the same ailment that contributed to Reggie White's death in December. Hawkins tore cartilage in his knee in late May and had arthroscopic surgery. Johnson has been bothered by a stress fracture in his leg, and has yet to play a down in the last two seasons because of injuries. Rookie free agents Patrick Dendy and Leigh Torrence have a good chance of making the team because of the injury history to the other backup cornerbacks.
Does this mean the depth is sufficient at that position? Not unless the Packers can obtain a top cornerback like Law. With Law, even for one season, the Packers can continue to work with Carroll and Thomas. Both cornerbacks had trouble keeping their hands off receivers last season and were often flagged. Judging from their performances in minicamps this off-season, their progress is questionable because both are still grabbing receivers beyond the no-chuck zone.
Law, 31, would give the Packers' defense instant stability in the backfield. Jim Bates' defense demands one-on-one coverage from the cornerbacks. Wth an inconsistent pass rush, the Packers have to have reliable cornerbacks.
Law's price tag has continued to drop since he turned down a contract extension offered by the New England Patriots in 2004 that included $16 million in guaranteed money. Law wanted more, and the Patriots said, ‘forget it.' Law subsequently suffered a left foot injury last October that has required surgery.
Law has drawn interest by a number of teams, but he inexplicably has continued to turn down some big offers. Kansas City, Jacksonville and Detroit entertained the idea of signing Law to a long-term deal this off-season, but he has yet to agree on anything. Law visited Jacksonville last week and left without a contract. Kansas City is still interested, though, they traded for former Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain earlier this off-season, so their interest has cooled.
"Before they signed Surtain, the Chiefs gave me, like, a $42 million offer," Law says. "But it was structured so bad that I'd probably only make $10 million before they'd cut me. So I didn't do it."
The Lions signed former Chicago Bears cornerback and return specialist R.W. McQuarters to a $1.6 million deal. McQuarters is no where near the same level as Law, but if Law's stock continues to drop, his salary might be the same as McQuarters next season. He is basically on sale right now at a summer-clearance price. The Packers would be foolish not to pursue the 11th-year pro.
"If healthy, Ty Law is still one of the best cornerbacks in the game," Browns head coach and former New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said.
The Packers have been very quiet this off-season in free agency. They are about $6 million under the salary cap, and could clear more cap space by releasing Cletidus Hunt. Signing Law definitely gives the team a better chance to win.
Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at email@example.com.