Shortly after agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran cornerback Ashley Ambrose on Friday…
Where Will the Law Man Call Home in 2005?
Ty Law is still at least two to three weeks away from getting back on the football field. He's doing some very light running and still spends the majority of this time working in a pool to keep up his leg strength. But he's nowhere ready to becoming a starting cornerback for the handful of teams that have been clamoring for his services.
The Jaguars along with the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs are routinely in talks with Law's agents the Poston Brothers. Another team the Pittsburgh Steelers are said to have a mild interest in their hometown product. Law who grew up in the Steel City would seem to be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh but the teams' interest in him is a bit above lukewarm.
In Jacksonville on Thursday, the Jaguars did not make an attempt to sign Law. They like the other teams are standing pat on their decision to offer Law a one-year contract for the NFL veteran minimum. Now the Poston Brothers have a precedent in contract talks to increase that offer after the Detroit Lions gave $1.5 million to R.W. McQuarters last month. Law is certainly worth that price and should be able to get that from the five or six that have shown interest in him to date.
However, Law and his agents want a long term deal but it appears the parameters are changing. At first Law wanted a four of five year deal but Insiders tell us that if Law were to receive a three-year deal that would swing his position and thus he'd sign with any of the above teams. However, nobody is willing to do that at this time and quite likely that won't even be a remote possibility until Law can get on the practice field.
For the Chiefs and Jaguars who in my mind are the two teams that covet him the most; they ultimately have to decide how bad they want Ty Law. Each team feels that they have made significant upgrades in the off-season and they know that adding a player of Law's caliber is both a shrewd move and one that could pay dividends this season.
Each team has a need for Law. The Jaguars have nine cornerbacks on the roster ranging from nine-year veteran Terry Cousin to rookies Rasheen Mathis and Scott Starks. Their secondary needs help and Law would fit the bill. But is that enough to sway Law.
The Jaguars will enter the 2005 season in a similar fashion as the Seattle Seahawks did a year ago. With an up and coming quarterback in Byron Leftwich they are already the flavor of some of the experts around the NFL to be that team in the AFC this season. I don't agree with it but they have weapons on offense and a solid front seven that has skill and talent. But are they going to end up like Seattle did a year ago? Probably so.
The Chiefs who struggled to a 7-9 record a year ago have been the NFL's hottest off-season team. With four potential starters added this off-season to shore up their leaky defense and the development of linebacker Derrick Johnson in OTA's, Kansas City is back on track to having a defense that can be middle of the pack in 2005.
But with the season ending injury to cornerback Julian Battle and the anticipation of a four game suspension to starter Eric Warfield; the Chiefs might have to gamble more than any other team to acquire Law.
We've said it all along the Chiefs have a brutal slate of games to start the season. With the opener against the New York Jets, then road games at Oakland and Denver followed by a home tilt with the Eagles, Kansas City has to break the first quarter with no less than a 2-2 mark. That will be tough if the Chiefs starting cornerbacks are Patrick Surtain and Dexter McCleon.
McCleon who did not practice in the Chiefs OTA's in May and June; won't even be ready to go 100% until training camp. He was routinely torched last season and the defensive coaching staff does not share the opinion of the head coach that McCleon when healthy is a 16 game starter. Gratned they only need him to be a four game starter but after the debacle that caused this team to start the season 1-3 in 2004; the Chiefs afford to hope that McCleon can grow several inches and step up and be a prime time performer?
The fact that Battle before his injury was handed the starting job even knowing that McCleon would be back for training camp speaks volumes about the coaching staffs thoughts on putting McCleon on one corner island to start the season.
But now the Chiefs must wait for Law to make another visit to Kansas City. And when that happens, and if they are serious about a Super Bowl run this year; they might have to pony up more cash to get the three time World Champion cornerback.
With that said, something tells me the Poston Brothers might be hearing from the Chiefs much sooner rather than later after his visit with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.
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