Ty Law Sweepstakes Heating Up - Part 2
With injuries taking their toll Law may get his chance soon
Patriots Insider Staff
Where does this leave Law now?
He's left his old team, which has decided to move on by trading for Duane Starks, signing Chad Scott and drafting Ellis Hobbs III. Even if Law wanted to return to New England, the cap dollars available to the team are dwindling.
Law has made it clear he would like to play for a team that wants him, and wants to win. He spoke on the radio about visiting the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, who were ranked 31st overall and dead last against the pass, were eager to speak with the cornerback. He fit their needs perfectly.
Unfortunately for Law, Chiefs GM Carl Peterson has told the media that the Chiefs won't sign Law until they see him running and cutting. As much as a healthy Law could have helped their defense, Kansas City moved forward by signing free agent Patrick Surtain, the other top defender on the open market.
If not the Chiefs, then who?
Law worked on his name-dropping while a guest on local radio, by throwing out names like the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets as potential suitors. Law has been in touch with the Jets, and has mentioned his desire to play for Colts head coach Tony Dungy.
The Colts aren't in a position to pay Law the kind of money he's looking for and he would have to take less to play for Dungy's defense. With Edgerrin James still not signed, the Colts have cap issues to deal with. Would Law really be happy playing for the Colts who are so cap heavy on the offensive side of the ball? They'd be hard pressed to re-sign him once he demonstrated his ability to play.
The Jets may be the next best chance for Law to earn a solid pay day should he decide he could live off of a one-year deal to prove he still has what it takes to be a dominant defender in the league. Law has mentioned his desire to play for Herm Edwards, and the Jets could use a healthy Law.
The Jets depth at cornerback is a question with backup Andrew Davison as one possible starter, and long time veteran Donnie Abraham seriously considering retirement. They do have Ray Mickens, but he's recovering from injury himself. None of the Jets defenders are the caliber player a fully functional Law is. The Jets picked Justin Miller from Clemson in the second round, so they may have some depth if he's a quick study. But is there room for Law in that picture?
"Anything is possible," Edwards said of the possibility of signing Law. "If we have the ability to do that, and if it fits under our structure of how we do things, we'll do it."
Law to his credit has played the free agent market well. While most of the big money has been spent on Players like Samari Rolle, Andre Dyson, Patrick Surtain and Anthony Henry, there may be some wiggle room under the cap after the June first cuts are announced.
"There are plenty of teams in need of a player of Ty's caliber,'' Carl Poston (Law's agent) told The Boston Globe recently. "There'll be a post-June market. All along we understood we had to be patient and let things play out, and more importantly, allow Ty time to heal the foot. When the foot is healed, Ty becomes an attractive player in the market again.''
That hasn't stopped Law from dropping by the Pittsburgh Steelers facilities while on a recent trip to see his mother who lives in the Aliquippa area. Pittsburgh media believes the Steelers have a genuine interest in Law at the right price.
It would be a little ironic if Law joins the Steelers, after the Patriots signed former Steeler Chad Scott to help fill his shoes.
Who's the next suitor?
The Miami Dolphins are expected to be the next interested party for the 10-year veteran from Michigan. Dolphins starting cornerback Will Poole, who suffered a torn ACL, will not return for the 2005 season. This leaves Miami thin in the secondary after losing Patrick Surtain to the Chiefs.
Sam Madison returns to the starting role, but behind him are Mario Edwards and Jimmy Wyrick, not exactly a pair of household names. The Dolphins acquired Edwards formerly of the Buccaneers but they lost Sammy Knight, and Surtain, two key contributors in the defensive backfield. With Poole out, Edwards learning the system, and the other DBs not considered starting material, the Dolphins are going to need more help than fourth round pick Travis Daniels (Louisiana State) will be ready to provide.
The Dolphins, along with the Colts, are probably in the best position financially to afford a player like Law. Until Law's foot is healed and he can run and cut on it to show his value, don't expect Dolphins coach Nick Saban to take use a good portion of that cap space on a player with an injury history.
Whatever happens to Law, he remains committed to returning to the league and playing in 2005. According to the The Boston Globe, Poston said Law is working out near his Miami home.
"Ty's doing everything except for cutting at this point," said Poston. And in typical agent fashion, he also said Law's progress was "ahead of schedule."
Related: Ty Law Options - Part 1
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