Rumor Mill Update: Ty Law To Return?

One report indicates the New England Patriots may be close to signing veteran free agent cornerback Ty Law. Here's what we're hearing and a look at what kind of impact Law's addition might have on the team.

The Rumor: Free agent defensive back Ty Law will return to New England - the team where he began his career.

The Buzz: According to reports out of Boston, FOX TV reports that the Ty Law and the Patriots are close to working out a deal. Law has expressed interest in re-joining the Patriots, and New England has been open to a possible reunion as well.

Reality: Patriots Insider and Scout.com have reported previously that there was interest in a possible reunion with the team's former standout cornerback. Discussions were considered to be on an informal basis, with Law preferring to wait to see if a starting job became available.

With New England loading up on corners via free agency (Fernando Bryant, Jason Webster and Lewis Sanders) the compelling need for corner has diminished slightly. The team has had at least 10 Draft eligible cornerbacks visit the team facilities in Foxborough in what appears to be a clear indication Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli plan on addressing the situation through the Draft this weekend. Patriots Insider has confirmed the team has met with or closely scouted every top corner as ranked by most NFL Draft outlets, from visiting with top defenders such as Leodis McKelvin or personally working out USF's Mike Jenkins - both considered top 15 picks. The team has also visited with or met with players like Brandon Flowers, Antoine Cason, Charles Godfrey and Orlando Scandrick - all mid round picks.

The only way New England would consider Law, is if he drops his demands (or expectations) for top pay at the corner position and remains flexible to the idea of competing for a job.

Scout.com's Adam Caplan has told Patriots Insider that Law is looking for a team that is willing to afford him the opportunity to compete for the starting job. New England is one of those places. Law's experience in Belichick's defense, along with his ability to move to safety is necessary, could prove to be the motivating factors to get New England on board.

So far, no other media outlet has confirmed that both sides are close. The word we are hearing is that Law may wait until after the Draft to sign - though the smart move would be to sign now so a team needing a DB doesn't Draft one early.

Impact: If Law signs with the Patriots, the corner position will be filled with three former veteran starters from other teams. Fernando Bryant - a former first round pick - is considered to be the favorite to land a starting role opposite Ellis Hobbs. With Law in the mix, Hobbs could be a candidate to move inside to the nickel role - currently filled by New England's 2007 first round pick Brandon Meriweather.

However the Patriots choose to work the rotation, they will have enough bodies to fill out the roster more thoroughly than in years past when players like Chad Scott, Tory James, Dante Wesley and Eric Warfield were looked to as potential starters.

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